Luke 2:48
And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said to him, Son, why have you thus dealt with us? behold, your father and I have sought you sorrowing.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(48)Behold, thy father and I have sought.—The latter clause expresses a continuous act, We were seeking thee; and our Lord uses the same tense in His answer.

Luke 2:48-50. And when they saw him they were amazed — The clause, thus rendered, signifies, that Joseph and Mary were amazed when they saw him, but it may be translated, They who saw him were amazed, namely, not his parents only, or chiefly, but others. In this sense Dr. Campbell understands it, as suiting better the scope of the passage. “His parents,” says he, “may be said to have had reason of surprise, or even amazement, when they discovered that he was not in their company; but surely, to them at least, there was nothing peculiarly surprising in finding that he was not amusing himself with boys, but was in the temple, among the doctors, discoursing on the most important subjects. I may say justly, that to them who knew whence he was, there was less ground of amazement at the wisdom and understanding displayed in his answers than to any other human being. Again: it appears to be the intention of the evangelist, in this passage, to impress us with a sense of the extraordinary attainments of our Lord in wisdom and knowledge, even in childhood, from the effect which the discovery of them produced on others. All in the temple, who, though they did not see him, were within hearing, and could judge from what they heard, were astonished at the propriety, the penetration, and the energy they discovered in every thing he said; but those whose eye-sight convinced them of his tender age were confounded, as persons who were witnesses of something preternatural.” His mother said, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us — Why hast thou put us into such fear for thy safety? Why hast thou given us such occasion for anxiety and distress? Thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing — Being not only troubled that we lost thee, but vexed at ourselves for not taking more care of thee. The word οδυνωμενοι, here rendered sorrowing, is expressive of the most racking anguish, and is often applied to the distress and pains of a woman in travail; it has therefore been rendered, with great concern — with inexpressible anxiety and distress. And he said, How is it that ye sought me? He does not blame them for losing, but for thinking it needful to seek him; and intimates that he could not be lost nor found anywhere but doing the will of a higher Parent. Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business — His words imply, that they had no reason to be angry with him for leaving them without their knowledge, nor even to be grieved on that account, since they might have understood by his miraculous conception, and the revelations which accompanied it, that he was not to continue always with them, but was to employ himself in the business of Him who really was his father. The original expression here used, εν τοις του πατρος μου δει ειναι με, is ambiguous, and is translated by Dr. Waterland and many other learned men, following the Syriac version, Knew ye not that I must be in my Father’s house; a translation which the words will very well bear; and, so understood, the reply of Christ will signify, that though they thought him lost, yet he was at home; he was in his Father’s house, John 2:16; and that, in staying behind at Jerusalem, he had not left his true Father. “It is to be remembered,” says Dr. Doddridge, “that this is the first visit Christ had ever made to the temple since he was a child in arms; and it is no wonder, therefore, that the delight he found there inclined him to prolong it.” How happy those children who, like the holy Jesus, love the house and ordinances of God, and thirst for the instructions of his good word! They understood not the saying — Christ having expressed himself in a somewhat concise and ambiguous manner, his parents did not fully comprehend his meaning; either because they now doubted his being the Messiah, or because they had few just conceptions of the end for which the Messiah was to come into the world. It is observable that Joseph is not mentioned after this time, whence it is probable he did not live long after.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.Why hast thou thus dealt with us? - Why hast thou given us all this trouble and anxiety, in going so far and returning with so much solicitude?

Thy father - Joseph was not the "real" father of Jesus, but he was "legally" so; and as the secret of his birth was not commonly known, he was called his father. Mary, in accordance with that usage, also called him so.

Sorrowing - Anxious, lest in the multitude he might not be found, or lest some accident might have happened to him.

46. hearing … asking—The method of question and answer was the customary form of rabbinical teaching; teacher and learner becoming by turns questioner and answerer, as may be seen from their extant works. This would give full scope for all that "astonished them in His understanding and answers." Not that He assumed the office of teaching—"His hour" for that "was not yet come," and His equipment for that was not complete; for He had yet to "increase in wisdom" as well as "stature" (Lu 2:52). In fact, the beauty of Christ's example lies very much in His never at one stage of His life anticipating the duties of another. All would be in the style and manner of a learner, "opening His mouth and panting." "His soul breaking for the longing that it had unto God's judgments at all times" (Ps 119:20), and now more than ever before, when finding Himself for the first time in His Father's house. Still there would be in His questions far more than in their answers; and if we may take the frivolous interrogatories with which they afterwards plied Him, about the woman that had seven husbands and such like, as a specimen of their present drivelling questions, perhaps we shall not greatly err, if we suppose that "the questions" which He now "asked them" in return were just the germs of those pregnant questions with which He astonished and silenced them in after years: "What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He? If David call Him Lord, how is He then his Son?" "Which is the first and great commandment?" "Who is my neighbour?" Though something must be allowed to a woman’s passions and a mother’s indulgence, yet one would think that, especially considering where they found him, and what doing, she should not have spoken thus unto him, had she had a clear and distinct knowledge of his Divine nature, in union with her flesh: she speaks to him with the authority of a mother,

Why hast thou thus dealt with us? And when they saw him they were amazed,.... That is, when Joseph and Mary saw him amidst the doctors, they were astonished that he was admitted among them, and had in such esteem by them:

and his mother said unto him; she being his own, and only parent, and not Joseph; and therefore he said nothing, but left it to her; who upon sight of him, at least as soon as she had a proper opportunity after he had left the doctors, began to chide, or rather to expostulate with him after this manner:

son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? which was said with great tenderness of affection, and in much mildness; and may be a pattern to parents, who should not provoke their children to anger, but deal gently and tenderly with them:

behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing; with great grief, anxiety, and solicitude, fearing lest some evil had befallen him. Mary calls Joseph his father, though she knew he was not, in a proper sense; but because he was supposed to be so, and was his father by the law of marriage; and especially, she might call him so because of his paternal care of him in his education, and bringing him up: for it is a maxim with the Jews (e), that "not he that begets, but he that brings up, is the father.

(e) Shemot Rabba, sect. 46. fol. 143. 1.

{8} And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

(8) All duties which we owe to men, even though they are not to be neglected, so are they (according to the position in life which God has set us) not to be preferred before the glory of God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 2:48. ἰδόντες refers to the parents. This astonishment points to some contrast between a previous quiet, reserved manner of Jesus and His present bearing; sudden flashing out of the inner life.—ἡ μήτηρ: the mother spoke, naturally; a woman, and the mother’s heart more keenly touched. This apart from the peculiar relation referred to in Bengel’s major erat necessitudo matris.48. they were amazed] The “people of the land,” such as were the simple peasants of Galilee, held their great teachers in the deepest awe, and hitherto the silent, sweet, obedient childhood of Jesus had not prepared them for such a scene.

Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us?] Rather, My child, why didst thou treat us thus?

have sought thee sorrowing] Rather, were searching for thee with aching hearts.Luke 2:48. Πρὸς αὐτὸν, to Him) This expression, inasmuch as it is in the beginning of the clause, is emphatic. To Him she ought not to have spoken so.—ἡ μήτηρ, His mother) Joseph did not speak: the tie which bound the mother to Him was stronger.—εἶπε, said) publicly before all.—τί) What? not Why? What hast thou done for us[32] by this way of acting [His conduct]?—ὀδυνώμενοι, sorrowing) No doubt the heart of Mary turned over and revolved many things in thought during these three days. Comp. Luke 2:35.

[32] “Quid nobis confecisti?” implying that He had effected nothing by the delay, but the giving of trouble to His parents.—ED.Verse 48. - Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. Mary's words have in them something of reproach. Joseph, it is noticeable, stands evidently apart; but the mother, strangely as it would seem at first, associates him in "thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing." Had she, then, forgotten the past? Who but Mary could have repeated this sacred memory of her mistake, and of the Boy's far-reaching answer? What forger could have imagined such a verse? They were amazed (ἐξεπλάγησαν)

A very strong word; the verb meaning, literally, to strike out or drive away from; and so to drive out of one's senses. Hence in the general sense of great amazement. Amaze is to throw into a maze or labyrinth; and so is closely akin to the Greek word here, and is a faithful rendering.

Son (τέκνον)

Lit., child. See on Matthew 1:1.

Thy father

"Up to this time Joseph had been so called by the holy child himself; but from this time never" (Alford).

Have sought (ἐζητοῦμεν)

Imperfect tense: were seeking; Mary is going over in mind the process of the search.

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