2:41 – 52 THE BOY JESUS IN THE TEMPLE
A lot of time has passed since the previous verses. Jesus is now 12 years old. The family travels from their home in Nazareth to the city of Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of the Passover (commanded in Exodus 23:17 and Deuteronomy 16:16). After the feast, his parents were traveling back and did not realize their son was not with them. They may have assumed he was with another part of the large group traveling together. Mary and Joseph traveled an entire day before they realized Jesus was not with them. They assumed He was with them when actually they had wandered off to do their own thing. It was not Jesus who had wandered off. We need to be careful to remain in the presence of God.
Another day traveling back and an additional two more days they searched for Jesus. As a mother, I would have been frantic for my lost child, worried to no end about what might have happened to Him. Of course, the last place they would think to look was where they found Him, that being in the temple. Jesus was listening to the teachers and asking questions. Not only that, but He was speaking his own thoughts and all that heard Jesus talk were amazed at his understanding and answers, especially for a 12 year old. It seems as if Jesus was asking the questions, listening to answers, and then giving the correct answer. He did this for four days! (1 while his parents traveled away, 1 while his parents traveled back, and 2 more days while they searched for Him) I can imagine the news traveling as the crowd gathered with Him day after day to converse.
Around age 12, a boy would begin to learn his father's trade. Jesus had two trades, a carpenter with His earthly father and the work of His heavenly Father.
Mary asked Jesus, "why have you treated us so," thinking that her son should have let them know where He was going to be if He was not going to stick with the family's travel plans. They should have had one of those "duh-moments," realizing that their child, the son of God, would not be anywhere else but the temple. However, even after Jesus answered his mother, his parents still did not understand. Was it the reference to His "Father" that confused them, thinking only of His earthly father? Nonetheless, as "man," Jesus obeyed his parents and went back home to Nazareth with them. Verse 51 says that he was 'submissive' to His parents.
The sweetest verse is in 51 as Mary, "treasured up all these things in her heart." Dr. Luke probably interviewed Mary personally and could see outwardly her love for her son.
The Housewife by Catherine Cute Loblentz
Jesus teach me how to be
Proud of my simplicity
Sweep the floors, wash the clothes,
Gather for each vase a rose.
Iron and mend a tiny frock
Taking notice of the clock.
Always have time kept free
For childish questions asked of me
Grant me wisdom Mary had
When she taught her little lad
2:48 Jesus did not tell his parents where he was going and as parents today, we ask our children to give us respect to tell us where they are going. Jesus had not told His parents where He was going, but rather expected them to know and trust him. Jesus was 12 years old and had grown from a boy to a man and Mary was learning to let go of his son, just as all parents should do. We have to let go of people and projects and this can be both painful and happy, watching what we have nurtured all the years take flight.