Luke 2:45
And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
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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.Supposing him to have been in the company - It may seem very remarkable that parents should not have been more attentive to their only son, and that they should not have been assured of his presence with them when they left Jerusalem; but the difficulty may be explained by the following considerations:

1. In going to these great feasts, families and neighbors would join together, and form a large collection.

2. It is not improbable that Jesus was "with" them when they were about to start from Jerusalem and were making preparations. Seeing him then, they might have been certain as to his presence.

3. A part of the company might have left before the others, and Joseph and Mary may have supposed that he was with them, until they overtook them at night and ascertained their mistake.

Kinsfolk - Relatives.

Acquaintances - Neighbors who had gone up with them in the same company to Jerusalem.

45, 46. After three sorrowing days, they find Him still in Jerusalem, not gazing on its architecture, or surveying its forms of busy life, but in the temple—not the "sanctuary" (as in Lu 1:9), to which only the priests had access, but in some one of the enclosures around it, where the rabbins, or "doctors," taught their scholars. See Poole on "Luke 2:44"

And when they found him not,.... In the company that came from Jerusalem with them, nor among any of their relations and friends, with whom they supposed he was:

they turned back again to Jerusalem, that is, the next morning, for it can hardly be thought they would set out that night, after they had travelled all day, without taking some repose:

seeking him; at Jerusalem, in the streets and broad places of it; a figure of the church and ordinances, where souls look for, and inquire after their beloved, when they have lost him, Sol 3:1.

And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
Luke 2:45 f. Ζητοῦντες] present participle: “ubi res aliqua nondum quidem peragitur, sed tamen aut revera aut cogitatione instituitur paraturve,” Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. i. 3.16. Comp. Dissen, ad Pind. Ol. vii. 14, p. 81.

μεθʼ ἡμέρας τρεῖς] is reckoned, in most accordance with the text, from the point at which the search meant by ζητ. αὐτόν began, consequently from their return to Jerusalem, the day of this return being counted as the first, and that of the finding as the third. Comp. the designation of the time of Christ’s resurrection as “after three days.” Others explain it otherwise. “Grotius: Diem unum iter fecerant, altero remensi erant iter, tertio demum quaesitum inveniunt.” So also Paulus, Bleek, and others, following Euthymius Zigabenus.

ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ] We are to think of the synagogue, which “erat prope atrium in monte templi,” Gloss. Joma, f. 68, 2; Lightfoot in loc.; Deyling, Obss. III. ed. 2, p. 285 f.

καθεζόμενον] The Rabbinic assertion: “a diebus Mosis ad Rabban Gamalielem non didicerunt legem nisi stantes,” Megillah, f. 21,1 (Wagenseil, ad Sotah, p. 993), according to which Jesus would thus already appear as a teacher, is rightly rejected as unfounded in the N. T., by Vitringa, Synag. p. 167, and more recent expositors.

ἐν μέσῳ] has its reference to the seeking of the parents; Jesus was not hidden, but He sat there in the midst among the teachers. We may conceive of Him at the feet of a teaching Rabbi, sitting in their circle (comp. on Acts 22:3). In this there is nothing extraordinary to be discerned,[59] since Jesus was already a “Song of Solomon of the law” (see on Luke 2:42). But to find here a sitting on an equality with the teachers[60] (Strauss, comp. de Wette) is not in accordance with the text, since the report would not otherwise have limited the action of the child to the ἀκούειν and ἘΠΕΡΩΤ.

] The Rabbinical instruction did not consist merely in teaching and interrogating the disciples, but these latter themselves also asked questions and received answers. See Lightfoot, p. 742 ff.; Wetstein in loc. The questioning here is that of the pure and holy desire for knowledge, not that of a guest mingling in the conversation (in opposition to de Wette).

[59] Lange, II. 1, p. 130, invents the idea that “the genius of the new humanity soared above the heroes of the old decorum.”

[60] So also older dogmatic writers. “Ceu doctor doctorum,” says Calovius, who specifies the fourfold aim: ob gloriae templi posterioris illustrationem, Haggai 2:10; ob adventus sui manifestationem; ob sapientiae divinae demonstrationem; ob doctorum informationem.—Into what apocryphal forms the conversation of Jesus with the doctors might be fashioned, may be seen in the Evang. infant. 50 ff. Even by Chemnitz He is said to have discoursed already “de persona et officiis Messiae, de discrimine legis et evangelii,” etc.

Luke 2:45. ἀναζητοῦντες: the present participle, expressing the purpose of the journey back to Jerusalem, where (not on the road) the search took place (cf. Acts 11:25). The ἀνά here (as in ἀνεζήτουν, Luke 2:44) implies careful, anxious search.

Luke 2:45Seeking him (ἀναζητοῦντες)

All the way as they went. Force of ἀνὰ, as above.

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