Mary, Did You Know?
Historians estimate Jesus made his earthly appearance more than 2,000 years ago to a young woman, the Virgin Mary. It is suspected that she would not have been much older than 12 at the time that she gave birth to Jesus.
When we reflect on this estimate of Mary’s age, how could we ever fully understand the magnitude or emotions that this young girl felt, as the angels appeared to her and her soon-to-be husband?
As we celebrate the season of the year dedicated to honoring Jesus’ birth, let us think about some of the thoughts that may have flowed through Mary during her pregnancy.
One song that captures the astonishment, empathy, wonder and magnitude of what occurred all those years ago is all too familiar to many; “Mary, Did You Know” written by Mark Lowry asks a series of questions highlighting how we, as people, struggle to understand with our own thoughts and knowledge, how Mary was able to wrap her mind around the magnitude of the child she carried in her womb.
We are told the angel Gabriel was sent from God to Mary to tell her she was highly favored with Him. He told her she would bear a son, and he would be the Son of the Most High. Mary was troubled, and wondered what the angel was saying to her. She asked the angel how she would be able to be found pregnant as she was a virgin. Gabriel explained to her that she had found favor with God and the pregnancy would be of the Holy Spirit - that the power of the Most High would overshadow her and her son would be called holy and the Son of God.
Mary said to the angel, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:26-38, English Standard Version)
The above passage leads to our knowledge that Mary may have known her baby boy would do amazing things, for she had the Spirit of the Lord to overshadow her. In this moment, she fully and wholeheartedly understood her purpose and her favor with God. She may not have known of his abilities such as turning water into wine, walking on water or his ability to heal the sick, but she knew of His purpose, His plan and His promise. In that moment, Mary experienced the answer to every question we have when we think about the virgin birth. Verse 38 tells us that she welcomed being a Servant of the Lord and wanted to fulfill what God needed her to do.
Even with scripture telling us Mary most likely had some indication of the the magnitude of what she accepted because of her obedience and faith in the Lord, her soon-to-be husband also needed to have a visit from an angel.
An angel visits Joseph in a dream, commanding him to “not fear taking Mary as your wife.”(Matthew 1:18-25, ESV)
The angel further explained that which is in her is not of this world, but holy. He explained that her son is Jesus and he is called to save his people from their sins. In verse 23, Joseph was reminded of what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they will call his name Immanuel.” When Joseph awoke from his dream, he was obedient to what the angel commanded him to do.
Both Mary and Joseph showed great obedience, faith and trust in the plan that God had as their plan in life.
As followers of Christ, often times, it is difficult to fully understand the magnitude of their obedience and we often find ourselves imagining how Mary and Joseph felt during this time. Their obedience created the season we celebrate more than 2,000 years later. Their obedience with God’s plan fulfilled a promise God had made, which resulted in salvation for all who believe in Him.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. ESV Text Edition: 2016