So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and 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?" But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. – Luke 2.45-50
This is a fascinating story. Jesus and His family had been in Jerusalem with a lot of other people for an annual feast. It was the kind of thing where children off together to be with friends and relatives and cousins. When they left everyone was sure that Jesus was with someone else. I don’t know how it took a whole day to realise it, but eventually Mary and Joseph realised that Jesus was missing.
So what could they do but go back to Jerusalem? So back they went and eventually they found Jesus sitting among the teachers. Everyone who was there was amazed at Jesus’ questions and His answers.
Mary of course was at the end of her rope. ‘Why have you done this to your father and me? We were terrified.’
Jesus reply was simple. ‘You have known all along that I had to do my real Father’s business.’ I guess Mary and Joseph were so used to their life that they had somehow forgotten or not thought about why Jesus came. He was just their son and they were worried about them.
I love the next verse. We read that despite the fact that He was the Son of God He picked up and went home with Mary and Joseph. He submitted to their human authority.
We know from Paul’s words to the Philippian church that Jesus became a man and took on the form of a servant. He could have ignored Mary and Joseph and gone on about His work, but He submitted to their authority. I think this gives us a great image of how important submission to authority really is and why we must practice it today. Sometimes we need to just swallow our pride and do what is right.