Summary: Comedian Mark Lowry wrote what has now become a classic Christmas song entitled Mary, Did You Know. This message answers his question that yes, Mary did know that her son was the face of God.
Mary, You Did Know!
Luke 1: 39 – 56
The big news this week has been The Voice finals. Yes, a young man by the name of Jordan Smith captured America’s attention (and their votes) with a stirring rendition of the now classic Christmas song Mary, Did You Know. Smith closed the competition with a song that his coach, Adam Levine, didn’t want him to sing, but in the end, even Levine said Smith made the right choice. If you haven’t seen or heard it, Google Jordan Smith Mary, Did You Know and you’ll find it easily on youtube, and you’ll also discover it’s sitting at number one on iTunes. Impressive…and popular. And, let’s face it, our own Rev. Kem Alexander and the chancel choir did a pretty amazing rendition last week, too. If you missed that one, go back to the archives of our webcast and catch it there.
Mary, Did You Know has become a Christmas classic since Michael English first recorded the song in 1991. The words of the song were written by Christian comedian Mark Lowery with the music written by musician Buddy Green. Lowry said the song evolved as he contemplated sitting with the Virgin Mary over a cup of coffee, and the questions he would ask her. Listen to the lyrics:
Mary did you know that your baby boy will someday 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 have kissed the face of God.
Oh Mary did you know
The blind will see, the deaf will hear, 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 would 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
Compelling lyrics, and they do make a wonderful song, but long before Lowry and Green put that song together, Mary sang her own song about her little boy, and the words she sang reveal the truth that yes, in fact, Mary did know. Mary lived in an expectant era for the nation of Israel. The Scriptures had promised the coming of the Messiah, and rumors were rampant that he was coming at any time (sound familiar?). The Messiah was going to turn the world around and deliver Israel from all her enemies. He would usher in the kingdom of God. But if those people who were so high with expectation had gone to a stable in the town of Bethlehem they might have said, “That’s it? That’s the Messiah?” No one could have guessed how this child would change the world. No one could have imagined the impact he would have on world history and the change he would make in people’s lives. No one, perhaps, except Mary and her cousin Elizabeth. Yes, Mary you did know!
Mary, you knew that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters. Mary, you knew that this child you delivered would one day deliver you…and all the others who would believe in him. She knew this baby had walked where angels trod, and that when she kissed her little baby, she kissed the face of God. Her song recorded in Luke 1 reveals she did. Her song is called the Magnificat because that’s the first word in the Latin translation of her song, and it’s a song that speaks of the glory and the deliverance and the salvation of God. She knew because her song put the focus squarely on God. Mary shows a maturity that is wise beyond her years.
Let’s remember that Mary is probably around 13 years of age, but certainly not more than 16 years of age. Betrothals were often made when a young lady was 13, and the marriage was generally a year later. It would have been unlikely she would have been much older. It would not have been culturally correct. Seriously, folks, I’m not sure how it was in the first century, but I know how it is in the 21st century. I don’t want to upset anyone, but the 13 year-olds that I have known (and I raised two of them) are rarely focused on anything outside themselves. At that age, they’re more worried about what they’re going to wear and what it’s going to look like…and who is likely to see them in it. I don’t mean any offense, but c’mon…that’s what happens, right? Not Mary. She turns her focus to God. She gives God the glory, and she sings a song of love, a song of hope and a song of faith.