The song Mary, Did you know? is modern but the story is not. It is both ancient and eternal. Mary pondered about her Son, Jesus.
Mark Lowry wrote the lyrics in 1984 for a Christmas program, with music added later by Buddy Greene. Mark’s inspiration was a conversation with his mother, who commented that if anyone was to know that Jesus was virgin-born, it would be Mary.
“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom, there will be no end.
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be since I do not know a man?”
And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:31-35 NIV
A lot has been said about the faith of Mary — how she accepted the role to be a mother of the Son of the Highest, despite being just an inexperienced, unwed teenager who will likely be divorced by Joseph and shunned by her community for getting pregnant before marriage.
But the song ‘Mary, Did Your Know’ with its lyrics juxtaposed with a slightly sad melody creates this tension that makes Mary’s journey our own. After all, life is not perfect on this side of eternity. Our world is broken.
As a Jew, Mary would have heard about the Messiah that was coming. She may have been wondering about this King and prophet greater than anyone has seen. When the shepherds came running to see the baby the angels have announced, Scripture says Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)
Mary would have remembered the prophecies spoken to her people and directly to her from Gabriel. But she would not have known how the prophecies would turn out.
Even as she cradled and looked relieved and joyous at her firstborn, Mary would not have known the searing pain of separation Jesus would experience or know His suffering she would witness.
But God knew.
God knew that His Son was going to be framed, rejected, scourged, and for the first time separated from Him because of our sins. He knew this would be infinitely more painful than what Mary would have felt.
Yet God rejoiced.
God rejoiced because He knew that Jesus would defeat death. There will be a time of no more separation, no more suffering, no more tears. Out of all the pain and suffering, there will be victory. There will be beauty. And it was all set in motion when Christ was born.
Like Mary, we may not know how things will pan out in our specific personal circumstances. But
Unlike Mary, we know the fellowship of the Holy Spirit who continuously fills us with living water. We can look beyond the Jesus in the manger, and on the cross to the Jesus who is coming back. We know the beautiful ending to the story of our world. We know God’s love without a shadow of a doubt.
And that’s a joyous thing not just to treasure in our hearts but to share with others.
Lyrics of Mary, Did You Know?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered will soon deliver you
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with His hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you’ve kissed the face of God
Mary, did you know?
The blind will see, the deaf will hear, and the dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak the praises of the Lamb
Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all Creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the Great I Am
Oh, Mary, did you know?
About the author: Kristine Lee a.k.a. Jin Pyn Lee is an author, writer, aspiring filmmaker, dreamer, motorcycle rider and fulltime Christian. That just means she shares the love of her life Jesus wherever and whenever. In her eulogy, she would simply like to be known as someone God loves. Catch her on www.jinpynlee.com