When Herod was dead, behold the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph, saying: ‘Return into Judaea, for they are dead that willed the death of the child.’ Joseph, therefore, took the child with Mary (he having come to the age of seven years), and came to Judaea; whence, hearing that
Archelaus, son of Herod, was reigning in Judaea, he went into Galilee, fearing to remain in Judaea; and they went to dwell at Nazareth. The child grew in grace and wisdom before God and before men.
Jesus, having come to the age of twelve years, went up with Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem, to worship there according to the law of the Lord written in the book of Moses. When their prayers were ended they departed, having lost Jesus, because they thought that he was returned home with their kinsfolk. Mary, therefore, returned with Joseph to Jerusalem, seeking Jesus among kinsfolk and neighbours. On the third day, they found the child in the temple, in the midst of the doctors, disputing with them concerning the law. And everyone was amazed at his questions and answers, saying: “How can there be such doctrine in him, seeing he is so small and hath not learned to read?’
Mary reproved him, saying: ‘Son, what hast thou done to us? Behold I and thy father have sought thee for three days sorrowing.’ Jesus answered: ‘Know ye not that the service of God ought to come before father and mother?’ Jesus then went down with his mother and Joseph to Nazareth and was subject to them with humility and reverence.
An Islamic Perspective and Commentary
As we have commented earlier, it appears that Barnabas was not an eyewitness to the early life of Jesus (peace be on him). The words in the last paragraph, “Behold I and thy father have sought thee…,” are contradictory to the fact that Jesus was born without a father. Assuming only that Mary (peace be on her) got married after the birth of Jesus, the words become acceptable. That is, it is common to call a stepfather a father.