Mary, Did You Know?

Mary, did you know? Short answer: Yes. Mary knew. She knew because God told her. Below is the full answer.

The song “Mary, Did You Know?” was released in 1991 by Michael English and has since gone on to be recorded by numerous other artists, including the group Pentatonix. Check out the video below if you want to hear it again. Since 1991 it has joined the ranks of well-known Christmas songs, sometimes even being sung in churches.

It is one of those songs with such a great melody that you can catch yourself singing along without ever pausing to consider what it is you are actually singing. The song poses the question, “Mary, Did you know?” Below is the line-by-line answer based on the lyrics of the song of what Mary did know, and didn’t know, as she gazed down on her newborn son.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
No. Mary was not omniscient (all-knowing).

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Yes. Joseph was told this by the angel Gabriel, “She [Mary] will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
Yes. Mary herself proclaimed, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46-47)
Yes. The shepherds on the night that Jesus was born and they visited Him and Mary, were greeted by angels who said, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
Yes. Mary herself proclaimed, “For He has looked on the humble estate of His servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.” (Luke 1:48-49)

This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you
 Yes. Joseph was told this by the angel Gabriel, “She [Mary] will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
Yes. Mary herself proclaimed, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46-47)
Yes. The shepherds on the night that Jesus was born and they visited Him and Mary, were greeted by angels who said, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
No. Mary was not omniscient. Although if she was aware of the prophecies about the messiah in Isaiah 35: 5-6, then she wouldn’t have been surprised.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
No.
Mary was not omniscient.

Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
Yes.
 According to Luke 2:19 she, “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Mary was told by the angel Gabriel that her baby boy was in fact the very Son of God. “He [Jesus] will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to 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.” (Luke 1:32-33)

And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God
Yes.
The angel Gabriel told Mary that, “the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
Yes. Joseph was told that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit, “Do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:20)

Mary did you know, Mary did you know, 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
Possibly.
 Assuming that Mary knew the book of Isaiah, and that she knew she was the virgin prophesied about in Isaiah 7:14, then it is also very likely that she knew of the prophecy about the Messiah in Isaiah 35, which told that He would perform miracles of healing. “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.” (Isaiah 35:5-6)

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Yes.
The angel Gabriel told her that, “He [Jesus] will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” (Luke 1:32)

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Not specifically.
She certainly knew that Jesus would rule the nation of Israel according what the angel Gabriel told her, “He [Jesus] will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:33)

Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
Possibly.
Mary was never told specifically how Jesus would accomplish the salvation that He was bringing as the messiah. But once again, if she knew the book of Isaiah and what he prophesied about the coming messiah then it is likely that she did know that he would fulfill this role. Isaiah wrote of the messiah, “He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed…He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter; and like a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he opened not His mouth…yet He bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:5, 7, 12)

This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am
Yes
. The angel Gabriel told Mary that, “the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
Yes. Joseph was told that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit, “Do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”  And in understanding the prophecy in Isaiah, Matthew writes, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us.)” (Matthew 1:20, 22-23)

Mary, did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know?
In short, Yes. Mary knew.
She wasn’t as clueless as the song makes her out to be. Whether Mary had really taken in and fully understood all of the things that she heard about Jesus or not is an open question to some extent. But God did clue her in through the angel Gabriel, through Joseph by way of the angel Gabriel, through the words of her relative Elizabeth, through the witness of the shepherds, and much later, through the visit of the wise men.

Mary knew.

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2 thoughts on “Mary, Did You Know?

  1. It is good that you bring to light all these truths your article was well written. I’ve heard and sang this song before and this is how I’ve always interpreted it. The one asking Mary these questions is someone who is in awe of all the miracles and works of Jesus, perhaps a new and excited convert. They are having a conversation with Mary wondering how much she knew about her own son. In doing so they are not questioning Mary’s knowledge or saying she didn’t know this or did know that, they are simply asking her what she knows about her son, all the while creatively sharing the Gospel with the questions they pose. In my mind they are looking for insight from a mother who knows pretty much everything about her son but like most mothers, there are a few things she doesn’t know. I’m not saying my interpretation is accurate either but that’s how I’ve always read this song.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a great way to look at the song, and one I hadn’t considered before. For my part, I enjoyed the experience of reading through the birth accounts to answer the questions posed in the song

      Like

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