And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
For a while, perhaps, it was just a normal Jewish family. Jesus’ birth had been miraculous. There had been visits from angels and wise men and shepherds. There were the words of Simeon and Anna at the temple and those special moments. But then had they fallen into the routine of a typical life? For His childhood, was Jesus just Mary’s little boy? Was it just life as usual with nothing too far out of the ordinary?
But now Mary gets a glimpse that it’s not so typical. Jesus is growing up to be a different kind of man than any other child to ever be born. She knew Him in that familiar way that a mother knows her child. She cared for Him. She watched Him grow. But Jesus’ purpose would take Him away from that simple family life they had lived up until this point. Jesus’ Father was God, not Joseph. The family business was not carpentry, but redemption. Jesus had to know the things of God. He had to grow up to be the Savior of mankind. He had to prepare for His ministry and the cross that awaited Him at the end of that.
And though Mary could be with Him through all of that, it wasn’t going to be the same as it would be with her other children. Her role as Jesus’ mother was not a lasting bond with an earthly child. She’d have to let Him go bit by bit as her son and accept Him as her Savior. And she had all those moments she stored up in her heart to sort through as she watched it all unfold—His ministry, His miracles, His death, and His resurrection.
We all have to get to a place where we recognize Jesus for who He truly is. He is so much more than what we might think. He came to Earth as a man, so there is a sense of familiarity because of that. But He was not just a man without also being God, so there is an important distinction and difference in Him. He relates to us in our humanity, but there is nothing typical or ordinary about Him. His greatness surpasses, His position is higher, His glory is greater. But when we recognize Him as our Savior and our God, we can have a unique and special relationship with Him for ourselves.