Luke 2:49 MEANING

Luke 2:49
(49) Wist ye not . . .?--This is, as it were, the holy Child's defence against the implied reproach in. His mother's question. Had they reflected, there need have been no seeking; they would have known what He was doing and where He was.

About my Father's business.--Literally, in the things that are My Father's--i.e., in His work, the vague width of the words covering also, perhaps, the meaning "in My Father's house," the rendering adopted in the old Syriac version. The words are the first recorded utterance of the Son of Man, and they are a prophecy of that consciousness of direct Sonship, closer and more ineffable than that of any other of the sons of men, which is afterwards the dominant idea of which His whole life is a manifestation. We find in a Gospel in other respects very unlike St. John's, the germ of what there comes out so fully in such words as, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I also work" (John 5:17), "I and My Father are One" (John 10:30). The words are obviously emphasised as an answer to Mary's words, "Thy father." Subject unto His parents as He had been before and was afterwards, there was a higher Fatherhood for Him than that of any earthly adoption.

Verse 49. - How is it that ye sought me? To the gently veiled reproach of Mary, Jesus replies, apparently with wonderment, with another question. It had come upon him so quietly and yet with such irresistible force that the temple of God was his real earthly home, that he marvelled at his mother's slowness of comprehension. Why should she have been surprised at his still lingering in the sacred courts? Did she not know who he was, and whence he came? Then he added, Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? There was an expression of Mary's which evidently distressed the Child Jesus. Godet even thinks that he discerns a kind of shudder in his quick reply to Mary's "thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing." "In my Father's house, where my Father's work is being done, there ought I to be busied. Didn't you know this?" But the twelve silent uneventful years of life at Nazareth, the poor home, the village carpentry, the natural development of the sacred Child, had gradually obscured for Mary and Joseph the memories of the infancy. They had not forgotten them, but time and circumstances had covered them with a veil. Now they were very gently reminded by the Boy's own quiet words of what had happened twelve years before. Scholars hesitate whether or not to adopt the rendering of the old Syriac Version, "in my Father's house," instead of the broader and vaguer "about my Father's business," as the Greek will allow either translation. It seems to us the best to retain the old rendering we love so well, "about my Father's business." The whole spirit of Jesus' after-teaching leads us irresistibly to this interpretation of the Master's first recorded saying.

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.And he said unto them, how is it that ye sought me?.... That is, with so much uneasiness and distress of mind, not trusting in the power and providence of God, to take care of him; and in other places, besides the temple, where they had been inquiring for him:

wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? or "in my Father's house", as the Syriac and Persic versions render it; where, as soon as you missed me, you might, at once, have concluded I was, and not have put yourselves to so much trouble and pains in seeking for me. Christ seems to tax them with ignorance, or, at least, forgetfulness of his having a Father in heaven, whose business he came to do on earth; and which they should have thought in their own minds he was now about, and so have made themselves easy. The business that Christ came about was to preach the Gospel, and which he afterwards performed with great clearness and fulness, with much power, majesty, and authority, with great constancy and diligence, with much concern for the souls of men, arid with great awfulness; and in which he took great delight, though he went through many dangers and risks of life; as also to work miracles in proof of his deity and Messiahship, and for the good of the bodies of men, and in which he was very assiduous, going about every where doing good this way: but the main, and principal part of his business was, to work out salvation for his people, by fulfilling the law, making reconciliation and atonement for their sins, and obtaining eternal redemption: this was a business which neither angels nor men could do; was very toilsome and laborious, and yet he delighted in it; nor did he desist from it until it was accomplished: and this is called his Father's business, because he contrived and assigned it to him; he called him to it, and sent him to perform; he enjoined it to him as man and mediator, and the glory of his perfections was concerned in it, and secured by it: and it was a business that Christ must be about, be concerned in, and perform, because he engaged to do it from all eternity; and because it was the will of his Father, which must be done, and was necessary in order to show himself dutiful and obedient; and because it was foretold in prophecy again and again and promised that it should be done; and because it could not be done by another. Now our Lord's conversing with the doctors, and which was a branch of his prophetic office, and was, no doubt, with a view to the good of the souls of men, and nothing less than miraculous, was a show, a prelude of, and a sort of an entrance upon the business he came about.

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