Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business? Luke 2:49.
The parents of Jesus yearly visited Jerusalem, in accordance with the Jewish law. Their son Jesus, then twelve years old, accompanied them. In returning to their home, after they had gone a day’s journey, their anxiety was aroused as they missed Jesus…. They hastened back to Jerusalem, their hearts heavy with sorrow….
While the parents of Christ were in search of Him, they saw large numbers flocking to the temple, and as they entered it, the well-known voice of their Son arrested their attention. They could not get sight of Him for the crowd, but they knew that they were not mistaken, for no voice was like His, marked with solemn melody. The parents gazed in astonishment at the scene. Their Son, in the midst of the grave and learned doctors and scribes, was giving evidence of superior knowledge by His discreet questions and answers. His parents were gratified to see Him thus honored. But the mother could not forget the grief and anxiety she had suffered because of His tarry at Jerusalem, and she, in a reproving manner, inquired why He had thus dealt with them, relating her fears and sorrow on His account.
Said Jesus, “How is it that ye sought me?” This pointed question was to lead them to see that if they had been mindful of their duty, they would not have left Jerusalem without Him. He then adds, “Wist ye not that I must be about my father’s business?” While they had been unmindful of the responsible charge intrusted to them, Jesus was engaged in the work of His Father. Mary knew that Christ did not refer to His earthly father, Joseph, but to Jehovah….
It was His choice to return from Jerusalem with His parents alone, for in being retired, His father and mother would have more time for reflection and for meditation upon the prophecies which referred to His future sufferings and death…. After the celebration of the Passover, they sought Him sorrowing for three days. When He should be slain for the sins of the world, He would be separated from them, lost to them, for three days. But after that, He would reveal Himself to them, and be found of them, and their faith rely upon Him as the Redeemer of the fallen race, the advocate with the Father in their behalf.—The Review and Herald, December 31, 1872.