And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said to him, Son, why have you thus dealt with us? behold…
This question of the mother of Jesus reveals an experience of the human heart which is very common, which is most common in the best hearts and those who feel their responsibility the most. The Virgin Mary is the perpetual type of people who, entrusted with any great and sacred interest, identify their own lives with that interest and care for it conscientiously; but who, by and by, when the interest begins to manifest its own vitality, and to shape its own methods, are filled with perplexity. They cannot keep the causes for which they labour under their own care. As His mother asked of Jesus, so they are always asking of the objects for which they live, "Why hast thou thus dealt with us?" Such people are people who have realized responsibility more than they have realized God. Just as Mary felt at the moment when she asked this question, that Jesus was her Son more than that He was God's Son, so there is a constant tendency among the most earnest and conscientious people to feel that the causes for which they live and work are their causes more than that they are God's causes, and so to experience something which is almost like jealousy when they see those causes pass beyond their power and fulfil themselves in larger ways than theirs. For such people, often the most devoted and faithful souls among us, there must be some help and light in this story of Jesus and His mother.
(Phillips Brooks, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.