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.
49. about my Father's business—literally, "in" or "at My Fathers," that is, either "about My Father's affairs," or "in My Father's courts"—where He dwells and is to be found—about His hand, so to speak. This latter shade of meaning, which includes the former, is perhaps the true one, Here He felt Himself at home, breathing His own proper air. His words convey a gentle rebuke of their obtuseness in requiring Him to explain this. "Once here, thought ye I should so readily hasten away? Let ordinary worshippers be content to keep the feast and be gone; but is this all ye have learnt of Me?" Methinks we are here let into the holy privacies of Nazareth; for what He says they should have known, He must have given them ground to know. She tells Him of the sorrow with which His father and she had sought Him. He speaks of no Father but one, saying, in effect, My Father has not been seeking Me; I have been with Him all this time; "the King hath brought me into His chambers … His left hand is under my head, and His right hand doth embrace me" (So 1:4; 2:6). How is it that ye do not understand? (Mr 8:21).