Every year, his family went up to Jerusalem for the festival of Passover. When he was twelve, they went up to the festival as usual. And on the final day when they were leaving, Jesus remained in Jerusalem. His family didn’t know it.
They got out to about a days journey. They were under the impression that he was playing among the others. Then they went looking for him among the cousins and friends. When they didn’t find him, they traced their steps back all the way to Jerusalem searching for him.
After three days, they found him in the temple, sitting amidst the teachers. He was listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were really impressed over his understanding and answers.
And seeing him there, his mother was astonished and said to him, “Child! What in the world do you think you are doing to us? Look at me! Your father and I have taken great pains to search for you.”
And Jesus said to them, “What reason did you have to search for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be around my father’s people? Well, they did not quite get what he was saying to them.
Then they left that place and came to Nazareth. And he was obedient to them. And his mother collected up everything in her heart. Jesus grew before God and his community in wisdom and favor and grace.
:: Notes ::
“It was when he was twelve, so we read, that the Lord first began to teach; and twelve as you know, was the number of those who would bring the Good News and preach the Faith. There is another significant point: it was at the end of three days that the Child was found in the Temple – this Child who could forget His parents according to the body, since though incarnate, He was filled with the wisdom and grace of God. This was a sign that three days after his triumphant Passion He would be raised to life, so that He might present Himself – to the eyes of our faith – on His heavenly throne surrounded by divine honors. And this is He whom men believed to be dead.
“In Christ there is dual sonship: one affiliates Him to His heavenly Father, the other to His Mother. The one by his Father is totally divine, whereas that by his Mother subjects Him to the weariness and labor that is our lot. Anything in His actions that surpasses nature, age and that which in general is common to mankind, must not be attributed to His human but to his Divine powers.
“In another passage His Mother presses Him to perform a miracle. But in this His mother is checked for expecting Him to act as a human. But remember that here He is a child of twelve years, and that in the other case He is a grown man with his disciples. You see how the Mother has learnt more about her Son, so much so that she asks Him, in His maturity, to perform a miracle – she who was so astounded by His display in childhood of wondrous powers.”
Ambrose, Commentary on the Gospel According to St. Luke: Book 2.
“His mother certainly knew that He was not the child of Joseph, but she speaks so to avoid the suspicions of the Jews. And upon her saying, that “Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing,” the Saviour answers.
“Here then first He makes more open mention of Him Who is truly His Father, and lays bare His own divinity: for when the holy Virgin said, “Child, why have You done this unto us?” Then at once – showing Himself to transcend the measure of human things, and teaching her that she had been made the handmaid of the revelation in giving birth to his flesh, but that He by nature and in truth was God, and the Son of the Father That is in heaven, – He says, ‘Did you not know that I must be at My Father’s?’ Here let the Valentinians – when they hear that the temple was God’s, and that Christ was now at His own, who long before was also so described in the law, and represented as in shadows and types – feel shame in affirming, that neither the Maker of the world, nor the God of the law, nor the God of the temple, was the Father of Christ.
St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke: Sermon 5.