But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.…
Every child is a treasure to the heart of an affectionate parent; but the Holy Child Jesus must have been so sacred and precious a treasure to His mother and her husband that one wonders how they could ever have lost sight of Him. Perhaps it may have happened in this way: when they were about to return, they would doubtless give Him notice that they were going home, and would expect Him to follow. But, in the hurry of packing and starting, they would necessarily take their eyes off from Him for some time, and then He would find His opportunity to withdraw to the Temple. It must be remembered that hundreds of other pilgrims would be on the move homeward at the same moment. All those who lived north of Jerusalem, forming an immense caravan, would start with Joseph and Mary, and go by the same road. This would create great confusion; and, amidst a general lading of mules and asses and a general preparation for the day's journey, a single child might be easily missed. Moreover, we are told by some writers that it was the custom in these pilgrimages for all the men to travel in one company by themselves, and all the women in another, the boys travelling, as it might happen, either with their father or their mother. If this was the case, it is easy to understand how neither our Lord's mother nor her husband were made uneasy by missing Him. St. Joseph would say, "He is with His mother, no doubt"; and the blessed Virgin would say, "Doubtless Joseph is taking care of Him."
Parallel VersesKJV: But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.