And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said to him, Son, why have you thus dealt with us? behold…
There is something at first sight wilful indeed, possibly courageous, but not manly, in a boy of twelve staying behind his parents in a strange city without their knowledge or consent; something thoughtless, almost ungracious, in the words of reply to Mary's question. The clue to this apparent divergence from the perfect manly life is given with rare insight and beauty in Mr. Holman Hunt's great picture — at any rate, the face and attitude of the boy there seemed for the first time to make clear to me the meaning of the recorded incident, and to cast a flood of light upon those eighteen years of preparation which yet remained before He should be ready for His great work. The first sight of Jerusalem and of the Temple has stirred new and strange thoughts within Him. The replies of the doctors to His eager questionings have lighted up the consciousness which must have been dimly working in Him already, that He was not altogether like those around Him-the children with whom He used to play, the parents at whose knees He had been brought up. To the young spirit before whose inward eye such a vision is opening. all human ties would sink back, and be for the moment forgotten; and, when recalled suddenly by the words of His mother, the half-conscious dreamy answer, "How is it that ye sought Me?" &c., loses all its apparent wilfulness and abruptness. And so, full of this new question and great wonder, He went home to the village in Galilee with His parents, and was subject unto them; and the curtain falls for us on His boyhood and youth and early manhood. But, as nothing but what is most. important and necessary for understanding all of His life which we need for our own growth into His likeness is told us in these simple narratives, it would seem that this vivid light is thrown on that first visit to Jerusalem because it was the crisis in our Lord's earthly life which bears most directly on His work for our race. If so, we must, I think, allow that the question, once fairly presented to the boy's mind, would never again leave it. Day by day it would come back with increasing insistency, gathering power and weight.
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.