And when they saw him they were amazed
That is, when Joseph and Mary saw him amidst the doctors, they were astonished that he was admitted among them, and had in such esteem by them:
and his mother said unto him;
she being his own, and only parent, and not Joseph; and therefore he said nothing, but left it to her; who upon sight of him, at least as soon as she had a proper opportunity after he had left the doctors, began to chide, or rather to expostulate with him after this manner:
son, why hast thou thus dealt with us?
which was said with great tenderness of affection, and in much mildness; and may be a pattern to parents, who should not provoke their children to anger, but deal gently and tenderly with them:
behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing;
with great grief, anxiety, and solicitude, fearing lest some evil had befallen him. Mary calls Joseph his father, though she knew he was not, in a proper sense; but because he was supposed to be so, and was his father by the law of marriage; and especially, she might call him so because of his paternal care of him in his education, and bringing him up: for it is a maxim with the Jews F5, that
``not he that begets, but he that brings up, is the father.''
F5 Shemot Rabba, sect. 46. fol. 143. 1.