|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:41-52 It is for the honour of Christ that children should attend on public worship. His parents did not return till they had stayed all the seven days of the feast. It is well to stay to the end of an ordinance, as becomes those who say, It is good to be here. Those that have lost their comforts in Christ, and the evidences of their having a part in him, must bethink themselves where, and when, and how they lost them, and must turn back again. Those that would recover their lost acquaintance with Christ, must go to the place in which he has put his name; there they may hope to meet him. They found him in some part of the temple, where the doctors of the law kept their schools; he was sitting there, hearkening to their instructions, proposing questions, and answering inquiries, with such wisdom, that those who heard were delighted with him. Young persons should seek the knowledge of Divine truth, attend the ministry of the gospel, and ask such questions of their elders and teachers as may tend to increase their knowledge. Those who seek Christ in sorrow, shall find him with the greater joy. Know ye not that I ought to be in my Father's house; at my Father's work; I must be about my Father's business. Herein is an example; for it becomes the children of God, in conformity to Christ, to attend their heavenly Father's business, and make all other concerns give way to it. Though he was the Son of God, yet he was subject to his earthly parents; how then will the foolish and weak sons of men answer it, who are disobedient to their parents? However we may neglect men's sayings, because they are obscure, yet we must not think so of God's sayings. That which at first is dark, may afterwards become plain and easy. The greatest and wisest, those most eminent, may learn of this admirable and Divine Child, that it is the truest greatness of soul to know our own place and office; to deny ourselves amusements and pleasures not consistent with our state and calling.
Verses 41-52. - The Child Jesus at Jerusalem. Verse 41. - Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. The Law required the attendance of all men at the three great Feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:16). The dispersion and subsequent residence of so many Jews in distant lands had much broken up the regular observance of these directions. Still, many devout Jews were constantly present at these feasts. This Mosaic ordinance was only binding upon men, but R. Hillel recommended women always to be present at the Passover. The constant yearly presence of Joseph the carpenter and Mary at this feast is another indication of the rigid obedience of the holy family of Nazareth to the ritual of the Law of Moses.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year,.... Joseph was obliged to go three times a year, as were all the males in Israel, at the feasts of the passover, pentecost, and tabernacles, Deuteronomy 16:16. The first of these is expressed here, at the feast of the passover; but the women were not obliged to go up: for so it is said by the Jews (p), , "the passover of women is voluntary", or in their own power; they might go up to the feast, or not, as they pleased. It is indeed said of Hillell, who was now alive, that he obliged the women to the first, but not to a second passover: to which the Karaites object; the account they give is as follows (q),
"truly the women were obliged, by the school of Hillell, to the offering of the passover; but if they were hindered from the first passover, the second was in their power; that is, the thing depended upon their will and pleasure, whether they would offer or not, which may be justly wondered at; for why should they be obliged to the, first, and not the second? for behold, as to the obligation of the passover, there is no difference between the first passover, and the second, The sum of the matter is, our wise men, on whom be peace, have determined and say, that there is no obligation but to males, who are arrived to maturity.
So that this was a voluntary thing in Mary; which discovers her piety and religion, and her great regard to the ordinances and appointments of God,
(p) T. Hieros. Kiddushin, fol. 61. 3.((q) Eliahu Adderet, p. 39. apud Trigland. de Sect. Karaeorum, p. 28.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Lu 2:41-52. First Conscious Visit to Jerusalem.
"Solitary flowered out of the wonderful enclosed garden of the thirty years, plucked precisely there where the swollen bud, at a distinctive crisis (at twelve years of age), bursts into flower. To mark that is assuredly the design and the meaning of this record" [Stier].
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