52. Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?

Luke 2:49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

Read: Luke 2:41-52

“Did you not know that in the this of my Father it is necessary for me to be?”; “about my Father’s business” NKJV; “in my Father’s house” ESV; “involved in my Father’s interests” CSB

Setting: Temple in Jerusalem, probably in one of covered porch areas along sides of Court of the Gentiles

Passover followed by 7-day Feast of Unleavened Bread – so, 8 days in Jerusalem, a day’s journey out, another back, then the search… 11+ days

last Passover/Feast time for Jesus before his bar mitzvah, becomes legally responsible for own actions, allowed to lead in family/community religious exercises

participating in theological discussion with religious teachers, astonishing those who were listening

Person(s) being questioned:

Mary & Joseph – 2 ways to know it was both: he said to αυτους (them); why were you seeking (2P), didn’t you know (2P)

no reason to believe Jesus or parents made a scene

might have called Jesus to the side, kept it a low-key family matter; τέκνον more than simply son in general (υἱός) or male child (παῖς); τέκνον includes aspects of affectionate relationship (can be used without respect to age, e.g., children/sons of God 3x, John 1:12; 1 John 3:1-2)

Question behind the question:

Why did you need to search? Where else would you expect to find me?

Who is my father? Who should receive primary allegiance?

Don’t you understand who I am? Don’t you know why I am here?

Expected response:

all of these things were crystal clear to Jesus – at least on “human level”, he assumed they would also be clear to Joseph and Mary

if Jesus’ real mission was ever family topic of discussion, end result was only partial comprehension on part of Joseph and Mary

probably expected his questions to be reminder to them – “oh yeah, now I get it, duh”, especially from Mary… given what she heard 13 years prior from Gabriel, Elisabeth, Simeon

do need to remember: although Jesus was eternal God, at same time he was 12 year old boy – not at full maturity yet (see v.52)

Jesus’ point:

three things need to be kept in proper place – Mary’s statement (v.48c), Jesus’ response (v.49b), Luke’s summary (v.51b)

Mary raises Jesus’ step-father’s concerns – Jesus responds with Heavenly Father’s concerns – in practice, Jesus was subject to both

Luke had already shown relationship of Jesus toward Heavenly Father, includes important fact that Jesus maintained proper attitude toward Joseph and Mary also

given Jesus’ true identity, shouldn’t take too much thought to figure out where he would probably be, what he would be doing

even at age 12 Jesus had pretty clear sense of mission, recognition of God’s call on his life – understood priority of God’s demands, at same time, did not treat authorities as mutually exclusive

submission to requirements of Heavenly Father included being subject to earthly parents – still had some growing up to do

Modern Application: 

Jesus was unique, at same time he was one of us – young age should not by itself cause us to discount child’s ability to know God’s will and purpose for their life

if it is genuine, will be accompanied by teachable spirit, willing submission to other legitimate authorities (parents, teachers, pastors, etc.)

God is umbrella authority, not exclusive one – he ranks highest, yet at same time he has purposely made place for earthly authority structures/individuals in home, church and state

proper submission to God’s authority and will requires proper attitude toward other “secondary” authorities – only escape clause: will submission to earthly authority cause sin against God… forbid what He requires, require what He forbids

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s