Mary (5)

“Jesus… seeking instruction from the doctors of the law” (Luke 2:41–50) by William Hole (1846–1917). G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection.

His mother said to him, Son, why have you done this to us? Look, your father and I have sought you anxiously. And he said to them, Why did you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?

Luke 2:48.49.

Mary had certainly not forgotten the angel’s message. She was given to understand that her firstborn would be entrusted to her care, but He would not belong to her, as is normally the relationship between mother and children. He had been conceived by the Holy Ghost and was the Son of the Highest, the Son of God.

Jesus was therefore to live particularly to glorify God. That may not have meant much for a small child, but when they took the twelve-year-old to Jerusalem for the Passover, Mary became painfully aware of it. After the feast they sought Him in the city for three days before finding Him in the temple. He was listening to the teachers there, amazing them with His understanding (vv.46.47).

“Son, why have you done this to us?” Mary asked cautiously and heard a counter-question as His answer: “Did you not know …?” For Jesus it went without saying that He should be occupied with His Father’s business. He had to be where the things of God were all-important. Speaking of His “Father’s business”, He testified that He was the Son of God. At the same time He remained in that position of dependence on Mary and Joseph. He readily returned with them to Nazareth and continued to be subject to them (cf. v.51). These things may be inconceivable to us, but we should keep this great, divine mystery in our hearts, just as Mary did.

Image: By Hole, William, 1846-1917 – Library of CongressCatalog: url:, Public Domain,