“Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.’ ‘Why were you searching for me?’ he asked. ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?'” (Luke 2:47–49, NIV84)
Here we have another rare look into the life of Jesus when He was a boy. His family had gone into Jerusalem (probably with with a large group of family and friends). When the family left Jerusalem they did not realize that their son Jesus was not with them. They must have assumed He was with other family members as they traveled. Once they realized Jesus was not with the group, they rushed back to Jerusalem to find their son.
In the meantime, Jesus was spending this time away from his family in the temple. He was listening and commenting on what was being taught and discussed. It wasn’t long before the child became the teacher. People were amazed at His “understanding and His answers.” Jesus just couldn’t help but be in the temple of God with God’s people. He had a special zeal for the house of the Lord. So, what felt very right for Him felt very wrong for His parents. When they arrived in Jerusalem and, after much searching finally found Jesus, they chastised Him for being negligent. He in turn gently corrected them. What did He say? “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” And there it is! Jesus was saying, Why did you frantically search for me? You should have known that this is where I would be. Where else would I be? My real Father is God and I must do His work.
How stunning! How difficult it must have been at times to raise the boy Jesus. But Jesus showed His wisdom rooted in love in the way He dealt with Joseph and Mary. That gracious approach hasn’t changed to this day. He continues to find loving ways to move our minds and hearts back to truth. Let’s learn one more thing from this account of Jesus’ boyhood years. It is vital that we spend time with God in His house. We need to be around Him, His Word, and His people so that our souls might be properly fed and encouraged.