A Russian icon from Novgorod painted about a.d. 1500, Christ is shown questioning the teachers of Israel in the Temple when He was just twelve years old. He had stayed in Jerusalem after coming up for the Feast of the Passover with His parents, and they had left without Him, assuming that He was still in the company that they had been traveling with. It was with difficulty that they found Him after three days of searching in the Holy City.
Unlearned in the teaching from men, yet filled with Divine Wisdom and strength, Christ was always aware of His two natures in His single personhood, for He was always consciously God while still aware of His humanity taken on for our sake. His was a sinless and perfect humanity, but He still suffered for us and experienced real human limitations each day. The teachers were astonished at His questions and His answers. When asked by His mother why He had done this to them, He answered with wisdom and correction, “Why is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Thus Jesus showed that His Father was from Heaven, not His stepfather Joseph.