When Jesus’ parents finally find Jesus in the temple, after looking for Him for three days, there is a bit of rebuke in his mother’s question, “Son, why have you treated us like this?” (2:48).
Jesus’ response is one of surprise. He’s not aware that He was even lost, and since He apparently was lost in their minds, He’s confused as to why it took them so long to find Him. “Why were you searching for Me?” He asked them. “Didn’t you know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”
In Jesus’ mind, filled with the wisdom and grace of God (2:40), there wasn’t a problem. He was where he HAD to be. His relationship with the Father superseded everything else, even returning to Nazareth at that time with His parents. It was a spiritual perspective that His parents, at least initially, did not understand (2:50).
The whole point of this story is to show that the divine wisdom with which Jesus was endowed with by the Spirit led Him to obey God the Father above all else. According to the book of Proverbs, this is basically the definition of wisdom. It’s the skill to live life well by living God’s way in God’s world. In a world that God created for His glory certainly that means we ought to follow Jesus’ example to make our relationship with God supersede everything else.
Jesus died on the cross to restore that relationship with God, and then He gave us His Spirit that we might be empowered to live that life of devotion, or holiness, to God for His glory. As Christians, therefore, we want to bring this spiritual perspective that we find in Jesus’ early life to every area of our own, including places like our work. I’m not suggesting that you don’t obey your boss, or crunch numbers, or maintain the home well because you should be reading your Bible. I mean, understand that ultimately the one that you are serving is not your boss, or the consumer, or your family – but God Himself. Pour a cup of coffee for your customer, manage your employees, or give instruction to your child, as one who is living unto God in all things for His glory. In fact, it’s precisely because your relationship with God is primary that you ought to obey your boss, or instruct your child, etc. This is what God has instructed you to do, so worshipping Him means doing just that. You can apply this to every one of your relationships. Since our relationship with God is primary, we have obligations to our families, co-workers, fellow church members, etc., because God has given us clear commands in Scripture of how to live with others in this world. In fact, when Jesus presumably gets a clear command from His mother to come home with her, He obeys, because Mary doesn’t leave the temple upset (2:51). He continues to obey them, because His relationship with His Father superseded everything else He continues to obey them (Luke 2:51).
Our relationship with God defines all other relationships, because it supersedes all other relationships. That’s the spiritual perspective that we must have if we are going to live well in God’s world for His glory.