Posts Tagged ‘Mary’

“Mary, She Did Know!”

 Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would 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?
When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God.

 Mary did you know? Mary did you know? 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?
That sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am

 Mary did you know? Mary did you know? Mary did you know?

Mary did you know?


 “Mary, Did You Know?”is a popular and thoughtful Christmas carol sung by many artists today. The lyrics are by Mark Lowry (1984) and the music was composed by Buddy Greene (1991). I found many renditions of the song on YouTube. I chose to link to this one that is sung beautifully by Mary J. Blige. I hope you enjoy the song.  I would like to answer the question, “Mary, did you know?” with an answer – “Yes, Mary did know”.


Yes, Mary knew. Maybe she did not know the details of her Son’s life, such as walking on water, but Mary did know that her baby boy, Jesus was the Savior of the world, that he came to “save our sons and daughters” and “make you new.”

How do we know that Mary knew?

When the angel came to see Mary, she knew Who God was and what He had promised and was ready to obey God.

 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her (Luke 1:34-38).

Mary joyfully and willingly submitted to God’s plan for her to bear the Savior. We find out how much more Mary knew when she visited her cousin Elizabeth and proclaimed her praise for God in her song, known popularly as the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).

Many scholars have portrayed Mary as an ignorant peasant girl with little understanding of the Scriptures. But Mary’s song of praise reveals that she had studied the Scriptures. We can see from Mary’s words that she grew up in a godly family. Listening to and reciting or singing the Scriptures was a big part of her every-day life. Girls did not go to the synagogue as boys did, but that doesn’t mean that Mary, who loved God with all of her heart would not have loved to hear the stories of God’s mighty works and would have lifted her heart in songs of praise to Him.

Did Mary know that Jesus would come to save sons and daughters and give them new life? Yes, Mary said in the Magnificat, “My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation” (Luke 1:47). Mary learned about salvation from many places in the Scriptures including Psalm 9:14; 13:5; 35:9; 48:11; 68:3; 97:1; 149:2, and Isaiah 61:10, “I will rejoice greatly in the Lord; My soul will exult in my God.”

Mary could anticipate that Jesus would do many miracles. She knew from the Scriptures that Jesus would bring restoration and healing such as sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf. The song writer wonders if Mary knew that her sleeping child was the great I AM. Yes, Mary knew that as God, Jesus is the great I AM, even as He would affirm later “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:58).

 Did Mary know that when she kissed her baby boy, she kissed the face of God? Yes, she did. Mary knew that Jesus is God and her“baby boy is Lord of all creation” and that her baby boy“would one day rule the nations.”

Mary’s faith is an example to us. She proved her faith by responding with humble obedience. Her cousin Elizabeth confirmed this when she said, “blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord” (Luke 1:45). Mary knew that the child she carried was the Savior that everyone had been waiting for. Jesus is the promised king, the promised son of David.

A blessed Christmas to all!!


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My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior for He has had regard for the humble state of His servant; for behold from this time on all generations will count me blessed. (Luke 1:46-48)

And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. …And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart. (Luke 2:33, 51)

In last week’s post we looked at how a young Jewish girl was called to bear the long awaited Messiah. We saw how Mary responded to God with obedience, humility, and courage. Mary gave birth to Jesus in a poor stable in Bethlehem. When Jesus was eight days old Joseph and Mary took Him to be circumcised as required by Jewish statutes. About two months after Jesus’ birth, Mary went to the temple for her purification as also required.

Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt when Herod threatened to kill the baby. Eventually they returned and began their lives anew in Nazareth.

Though Mary’s firstborn Son was special she led a typical life as a mother in a small village in Galilee. There is no evidence that she treated Jesus any differently than her other children. Mary would have fixed meals, washed robes, and schooled Jesus as a small boy. The Bible doesn’t say that Jesus did anything other than what ordinary human boys do when He was young.

Christ_TempleThere is only one incident in Jesus’ childhood mentioned in the Gospels. (Luke 2:41-51) On this occasion Jesus astounded the leaders in the temple with His knowledge of the Scriptures and His wisdom in understanding and applying them to life. Of course Jesus is also God, but on this occasion He showed His attention to learning and His devotion to studying about His Father as a human child. We mustn’t forget that in Jesus’ day a twelve year old had already had many years of training in the Torah. Mary would have helped Jesus with His Scripture memory and study even as Christian parents do today.

Jesus returned to Nazareth after this incident with His parents and was subject Jesus,Mary,Josephto them in all things. This means He was not only a good student, but He was a good Son. Luke mentions several times that Mary pondered these things in her heart. (Luke 2:19, 51) All during the years that Mary raised Jesus she would have been wondering just what it would mean that Jesus was the Messiah. What was He going to do?

So Mary enjoyed a normal family life with her children raising them the way all good mothers did in those times. At some point Joseph died. Mary would then be raising her children as a widow. Being the oldest Son, Jesus would have taken over the position of head of the family. He would have assumed the duty of seeing to it that His mother was protected as well as His sisters and brothers. These were all the normal duties of any son in those times.

It was when Jesus reached the age of adulthood and began to make decisions on His own that His relationship with Mary changed. Jesus made His identity as God’s Son public at His baptism. The Father Himself authenticated Jesus’ claim when He spoke from heaven. The Holy Spirit appeared as a dove over Jesus’ head, thus confirming that God is a trinity.

Was Mary present at Jesus’ baptism? The Scriptures do not say, but this was an important event in the life of a Jew; perhaps she was present. If Mary was there then she saw the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove and heard God’s voice from heaven. These things would have reminded her of that time over 29 years ago when the angel appeared to her and announced who her Son would be. She would have recalled Simeon’s words to her and also Anna’s prophecy. The things that she had been pondering in her heart would begin to make sense. As would be true for all of Jesus’ disciples however, it would take time for the mission of the Messiah to become clear.

On the way back home to Nazareth, Jesus, Mary and some of His brothers or friends stopped in Cana for a wedding. At this wedding in Cana we see the first opportunity to witness the change in the way Jesus related to His mother.

The story is well known. At the feast the wine ran out. This was a major embarrassment not only for the bridegroom but also for the steward who was in charge of the wedding feast.

Jesus:CanaMost readers comment on Jesus’ response to His mother, but I would like to back up first for a minute and ask, “Why did Mary even ask Him?” Did she realize that He could work miracles? He hadn’t done a miracle yet. And what kind of miracle was she asking for? Most of Jesus’ miracles would be about doing really important things like healing people or even raising people from the dead. Why was Mary asking Jesus to help with a less than a life or health-threatening situation? Why did Jesus go ahead and do this miracle as the first one of His public ministry?

In light of this, it actually makes Jesus’ answer to Mary very kind and considerate. His response has always seemed harsh to people, “Woman, (note: not “mother”) what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:4) At first it seems like Jesus is giving His mother the brush off. We should remember two things.

First, Mary is now in a slightly different relationship with Jesus. Just like any young man who leaves home, Jesus holds His mother in great respect but must make His own decisions.

Secondly, Jesus knows what His life is to be. Remember, at the temple when He was twelve years old He told His parents that He must be about His Father’s business. What did Jesus think of making His first public miracle one of seemingly small importance? He could have told His mother that it was just too bad about the wine but His Father doesn’t want Him doing such trifling works.

Instead somehow Jesus indicates to Mary that He will help. Mary tells the servants to do what Jesus instructs them. In this way, Mary shows that she understands that her Son now has the authority. She is telling Him, “Yes, You are now to go out on Your Father’s business. I will return to Nazareth and You will go and do the work that Your Father has given You.”

Mary had pondered all of the things that were told to her about her Son. Now she is beginning to see the reality of Jesus’ deity. Now she is beginning to understand what the predictions about her Son were all about. There would still be a long way to go as Jesus’ purpose for coming to earth would begin to unfold.

Mary would continue to love, honor, and follow her Son. In the next posting we will look at Mary as a disciple of Jesus.

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But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)

And a sword will pierce even your own soul — to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed. (Luke 2:35)

In the next few weeks we will continue to explore the topic of how Jesus treated women. The most important woman in His life, humanly speaking, was of course His own mother, Mary.

Many people have written stories about Mary the mother of Jesus. She is still the most revered woman who ever lived. Some have exalted her to a place that she herself would say in all humility that she would not accept. Mary exalted God alone. Mary would wish us to keep Christ on the throne.

There is so much to praise in Mary who as an ordinary human being had great faith, courage, and piety. She proved her faith with obedience, her courage with humility, and her piety with thoughtfulness, prayer, and submission.

We learn the most about Mary in Luke’s Gospel. Doctor Luke took it upon himself to interview many disciples of Jesus in order to write his story. Luke wanted everyone to know that he was giving the exact truth of the events surrounding Jesus’ life, and so he wrote the things “just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word,” (Luke 1:2). The main eyewitness was of course Mary who was there from Christ’s conception until His death.

It should not surprise us then that there are so many details about Mary’s interaction with Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. Mary was still alive and probably shared all of the stories with Luke personally. Even after the resurrection Mary continued to be a faithful witness. That explains how we know the very conversations that Mary had with the angel, Elizabeth, Jesus, and others.

angel:MaryWe first meet this humble peasant girl when an angel of the Lord goes to Mary’s home and announces God’s plan for Mary to bear Jesus. Most scholars agree that Mary was probably 13 to 15 years of age, the age of betrothal for many Jewish girls.

Having an angel suddenly show up in your room would be amazing, perplexing, and frightening. Mary felt all of these emotions, but she humbly submitted to God.

Some people think that Mary did not believe the angel when she was questioning, “How can this be since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34) Luke had already told the story of Zacharias who did not believe the angel. When the angel told Zacharias that he and his barren wife would have a child, it was just too hard for him to believe. (Luke 1:5-25)

But this was not the motive behind Mary’s question. Mary was not questioning the angel because she did not believe God. She merely wanted to know how a virgin could get pregnant. Though the Bible doesn’t say, I have to wonder if the humble maiden also wondered why she was the one who was chosen. After all, the Israelites had been waiting for their Savior for hundreds of years. Perhaps Mary thought that she wasn’t good enough to be the mother of the Messiah, nevertheless she believed God.

The angel then explained to her that God would be the Father of Jesus. The Holy Spirit would cause the conception of Jesus in Mary’s womb. Indeed Jesus would be the King who would sit on David’s throne. Mary’s response was of total submission to God, “Behold the bondservant of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

And so, Mary’s faith is an example to us. She proved her faith by Mary:Elizabethresponding with humble obedience. Her cousin Elizabeth confirms this, “and blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” (Luke 2:45)

In other words, while it was an unspeakable privilege for Mary to have been chosen to bear the Savior, it was not her motherhood that we should exalt, but her belief in the promises of God.

Mary herself says as much in her beautiful prayer that we have called the Magnificat. (Luke 2:46-55)

After Elizabeth calls Mary blessed, meaning that Mary has received a special favor from God, Mary lifts her voice in praise to God. God is the One who should be praised for all that He has done. Mary wants people to praise God for His mighty acts.

Some scholars have portrayed Mary as an ignorant peasant girl with little understanding of the Scriptures. But Mary’s song of praise reveals that she had studied the Scriptures. She speaks of the promise to Abraham and her Jewish ancestors. She knows that the child she carries is the Savior that everyone has been waiting for. Jesus is the promised king, the promised son of David.

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months then returned home. When it was very nearly the time for Jesus to be born, Mary went with Joseph to Bethlehem. Women did not usually travel during the advanced stages of their pregnancies. Was she aware of the prophecy that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem? We don’t know. We do know that angels spoke to Joseph as well. Perhaps the angel directed Joseph to take Mary with him. We know that whatever came her way, Mary responded in obedience and with great courage.

Even upon arriving in Bethlehem Mary could have wondered if she did the right thing when she and Joseph found that there was no room for them at the inn. Still she humbly obeyed. It would not have been easy to give birth in a stable. Mary trusted God. Though barely out of childbed, she graciously entertained visitors – rugged shepherds who came by to rejoice in the birth of Jesus. All of these things she pondered in her heart.

Mary:Simeon:Jesus:JosephWhen Jesus was eight days old, Mary and Joseph took Him to Jerusalem to be circumcised. Simeon gave praise to God for allowing him to see the Savior before he died. He also prophesied that Jesus would be a “light of revelation to the Gentiles.” Simeon also gently told Mary that, “this child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed — and a sword will pierce even your own soul — to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34, 35) Mary was amazed at these words, but continued to ponder all of these things in her heart – something Luke would mention many times in his Gospel. Mary was truly a thoughtful, pious woman.

From the announcement of Jesus’ birth to His circumcision Mary humbly served God. In the next several weeks we will see how she continued to demonstrate her faith in obedience, her courage with humility, and her piety with wisdom and love. As Jesus grew older His relationship with His mother changed in all the ways that human relationships usually do. He respected His mother and yet began to do things His own way.

Jesus did not treat women the way the Pharisees did. This includes the treatment of His mother. The Pharisees twisted and perverted many things with their traditions. On of those things was their treatment of women. We will see how Jesus brought change beginning with His treatment of His own mother, Mary.

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When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41).

Glory to God in the Highest and Peace and Goodwill Towards Men


At this time of the year there is much anticipation in the air. Children can’t wait to be done with school for a while and have a nice break. Of course, the main object of their anxious waiting is Christmas!

Moms and Dads are filled with anticipation of the happy Christmas morning when they can christmas_gifts_under_tree_edit_shutterstock_41106952__largesee their children’s eyes light up when they come into the family room and see the beautiful tree and all of the presents.

These are wonderful traditions. I pray that at this Christmas everyone will take time out and remember that the One that they should be anticipating is the Lord Jesus Christ. The presents under the tree are fun, but the best gift ever is from our Heavenly Father.

Our best gift is the Savior Who can give us a better life and an eternal home with Him.

In Luke’s Gospel we encounter the story of the Savior’s birth along with many details surrounding it. Luke gives us a glimpse into the lives of the people who would be special in the life of the baby Jesus. Last Christmas, we talked about His mother Mary. This Christmas it seems appropriate to talk about a relative of Mary’s family, Elizabeth.

Who was this woman and why was she so special that the evangelist Luke should commemorate her story?

We don’t have many details, but what we know is important. Both Elizabeth and her husband, Zacharias, were descended from Aaron (Moses’ brother) and therefore they were both in the priestly line. Therefore, their child, John the Baptist, would be from the priestly line from both sides of his family. John the Baptist was the great prophet who was foretold in the Old Testament who would introduce Jesus at the beginning of the Savior’s ministry. Elizabeth had the privilege to be the mother of this great person.

Elizabeth understood that God had chosen her for a special task. Like some of the other women we have studied, such as Sarah and Hannah, Elizabeth was childless for a long time. In Jewish society barrenness was both embarrassing and humiliating. It was assumed that the woman had disobeyed God somehow and was being punished with childlessness. Elizabeth responded to God’s blessing by praising Him. “This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among men” (Luke 1:25). Of course we know that God has His own purposes for how He deals with us. The stories of these women are a great encouragement to those who are suffering misfortunes in their lives.

We are told specifically that sinfulness was NOT the reason for Elizabeth’s condition. Luke tells us that both Zacharias and Elizabeth were “righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of he Lord” (Luke 1:6). The Father was merely waiting until the time was right to bless Elizabeth with motherhood. God’s timing is perfect; He was also about to visit Mary the future mother of Jesus. These women were relatives.

Elizabeth:MaryAfter Mary became pregnant with Jesus she went to visit Elizabeth. A wonderful thing happened. As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped for joy. Even her unborn child recognized the nearness of the Savior of the world. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and rejoiced saying to Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord” (Luke 1:42-45).

Note especially the last verse, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” Elizabeth believed and was blessed.

This year as we anticipate the wonderful Christmas season, my prayer is that all will believe and be blessed. Jesus is the Son of God the Most High Who will reign forever; His kingdom will have no end.


A blessed Christmas to you and your families.

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