And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said to him, Son, why have you thus dealt with us? behold…
There has descended into Mary's humble home a treasure too great for heaven itself to contain. What wonder if she fails to understand the value of this Divine Son; if she wholly mistakes the meaning of His absence? What wonder if she applies to His case the common-place rebuke, "Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing"? Nay, but we may be told it was inexcusable in one who remembered the marvels of His birth, and all that then occurred, to chide Him for resorting to the Temple, and to be astonished that He sat with doctors and heard and questioned them. Twelve years of meek obedience in common household tasks and duties had passed since His birth. Miracles, which are meant to witness to doctrines, were not, we may be sure, performed to startle the carpenter's humble family, and she had forgotten in some measure the significant tokens of the past, and the dutiful boy was to her the future carpenter, the support of her age, the inmate of her home, or of some frugal home like hers, to the end, and the air of authority sat easy upon her, for her right had not been disputed. But other rights asserted themselves now. The light within Him breaks forth now from behind the Tell of flesh. "How is it that ye sought Me? Wist ye not," &c. Other claims and ties supersede, or soon shall do so, the calm family life. He shall dwell with that Father who, in His baptism, His transfiguration, His death, will attest that this One is the Son of God. He shall seek for brethren and for children in all whom the ties of a common faith in His Father unite to Him. His work shall not be with the axe and hammer in Joseph's workshop, but it shall lie in turning souls from darkness to light, from death to life, from the power of Satan unto God. What wonder if the mother after the flesh cannot at once train her ear to the full compass of this new revelation. She will acquiesce, but not till she has painfully learned the plan of God in the life of battle with all forms of evil, which He shall lead, in the face of Satan and his host, where she is not; where she shall be met, if she venture into its sphere, by words of strangeness, "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" (John 2:4). Some have entertained angels unawares; but the King whom angels serve is a sojourner under her roof; she has to unlearn the speech of a mother, and learn that of a worshipper of the adorable Son of God and her Redeemer. She must cease to command and to admonish, and kneel with the rest of us before the Cross that was raised for all our guilty race alike.
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.