Luke 2:51 MEANING

Luke 2:51
(51) Was subject unto them.--There was, therefore, in the years that followed, no premature assumption of authority--nothing but the pattern of a life perfect in all its home-relationships. In such a household as that of the carpenter of Nazareth, this subjection must, in the nature of things, have involved much manual and menial work--a share in the toil alike of the workshop and the house.

His mother kept all these sayings.--The repetition of words like those of Luke 2:19 is significant. The twelve years that had passed had not changed the character of the Virgin Mother. It was still conspicuous, more even than that of Joseph, for the faith which accepted what it could not understand, and waited patiently for the solution of its perplexities.

Verse 51. - And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth. The question of Mary, and the quiet grave answer of the Child Jesus, were all that seems to have taken place. It served, no doubt, to bring back to Mary's mind what had long passed, and the memory of which for her was beginning somewhat to fade. This was, no doubt, one of the uses of the temple scene, but it had other and deeper purposes to serve. It was then, perhaps, as we have already reverently surmised, in the gradual development and growth of the Redeemer, that consciousness who he really was first dawned upon "the Child Jesus." And was subject unto them. This recital of the temple scene, the meeting with the great rabbis there, the few words of surprise addressed by the Boy to Mary and Joseph when they sought him "sorrowing" - "as if it were possible," to use Stier's expression, for "him to be in wrong or in danger" - this recital alone breaks the deep silence which shrouds the first thirty years of "the Life." For some eighteen years after that visit to Jerusalem Jesus appears to have lived and toiled as a carpenter at Nazareth, with Joseph and Mary while they both lived, with Mary and his halfsisters and brothers when Joseph was dead. Justin Martyr, living a century and a half later, speaks of the ploughs and yokes the Master's own hands had fashioned during float long quiet pause in his life. Why, it is often asked, were not these years spent in Jerusalem and in the temple neighborhood, in the center of busy life and active Jewish thought? Godet suggests an answer which, if not exhaustive, is at least satisfactory: "If the spiritual atmosphere of Nazareth was heavy, it was at least calm; and the labors of the workshop, in the retirement of this peaceful valley, under the eye of the Father, was a more favorable sphere for the development of Jesus than the ritualism of the temple and the rabbinical discussions of Jerusalem." Joseph is never again mentioned in the gospel story; the probability is that he died some time in that period of eighteen years. But his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. As twelve years before, Mary - pondering in her heart - had treasured up the rough adoration of the shepherds and their strange story of what the angels said to them about her Child (ver. 19), as doubtless she had done too when the Magi laid their costly gifts before the Babe at Bethlehem, and when Simeon and Anna in the temple spoke their prophetic utterances over the Infant; so now the mother, in quiet humble faith, stored up again her Son's sayings in her heart, waiting with brave and constant patience for the hour when her God should grant her to see face to face the mysterious things she had hitherto seen only "in a glass darkly."

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 went down with them,.... From the temple, and from Jerusalem, which were on high ground:

and came to Nazareth; where he, and his parents, had lived ever since their return from Egypt:

and was subject unto them; for though he thought fit to let them know, or, at least, put them in mind, that he had a Father in heaven, whose business he came about, and must do, and therefore did not judge it necessary to ask their leave to stay at Jerusalem on that account; yet, as man, and willing to set an example of filial subjection to parents, he went along with them, and showed all dutiful respect unto them, yielding a ready and cheerful obedience to their commands, living with them, and working under them, and for them: and so he continued till he was about thirty years of age:

but his mother kept all these sayings, or things; for this relates not only to the words of Christ, but to the whole history of his staying behind them at Jerusalem, of his sitting among the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions, to the astonishment of all. These things she treasured up, and preserved,

in her heart; that is, in her memory; so the word is used in Jewish writings. It is reported of R. Meir (f), that "he went to intercalate the year in Asia, and there was no Megilla (the book of Esther) there, and he wrote it, "out of his heart", (i.e. out of his memory,) and read it.

(f) T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 18. 2.

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