And he said to them, How is it that you sought me? knew you not that I must be about my Father's business?
What could compel the God who was equal to the Father? Was it not the constraint of His own loving and obedient heart? He must be about His Father's business, because He could not help it. To obey the Father was to obey the impulse of His own heart. He had undertaken to do His Father's will, and in doing it He did what was emphatically His own will. They were so completely one, theft Christ was compelled to be about His Father's business. This word must is no strange word to us women. We know well enough what it means. We, too, have rendered the obedience of love, which is the only kind of obedience worth the name. Is there any sweetness in all the world that can equal that which comes from obedience to our soul's beloved? The must is not a yoke which other hands have laid upon us; it is the outcome of our own hearts. It never thinks of possible reward or possible punishment, There is no need of a set of rules, or of verbal commands, much less of urging words. We obey because we must; because otherwise the hunger of our love could never be satisfied; because if there were a must not instead of a must, all the joy and gladness would go out of our life. We should not know what to do with our lips, and hands, and hearts, if we might not employ them for our dearest. But think what this must means in the text. "I must be about My Father's business." Is the Divine love within us less strong than the human? Are we Christ-like in this respect? Can we say, "I delight to do Thy will, O God"? Would it not change our lives a little if we felt this must as Jesus felt it? Would it not make of us better women, because better Christians? We feel that we must be about the business of our husbands, our children, or our friends; bat we too often regard our Father's business as something for our leisure moments only, to be taken up or left according to convenience. There is too often no must in this case. And this is the reason of much of the sorrow which is in our lives. We know so little of Christian joy, because we know so little of perfect obedience. We are Marthas, who are cumbered about much serving, rather than Marys, whose whole souls go out in love to the Master. Let us start afresh, and begin at the beginning. Let us abide with our Father, until, knowing Him better, we love Him more; and then say to all the hindering influences that are round about us, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?"
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?