Knowing God

The truth in the music.


Over the weekend as I was whirring around like a tornado cleaning the house, the kids asked to listen to Christmas music. I suppose it really is that time of the year…

I didn’t feel like fussing with CDs so I pulled up my Amazon Music app and selected the first Christmas station that looked promising. The crooning of Michael Buble, the tinny Feliz Navidad, the rocking Brian Setzer renditions, and the bouncy Christmas oldies rang through the house one jingle bell after another. I skipped “It’s the Most Wonderful time of the Year” because it’s one of The Most Hated Songs in My Ears (I have no idea why that song irritates me so much). While my arms were covered in soap, the song, “Mary, did you know?” came on, performed by the a cappella group Pentatonix. My little girl wanted to skip it because it sounded too slow and she wanted peppy songs. I asked her to pause and listen to this one, partly because I hadn’t heard this version and was curious.

If you are unfamiliar with this song, please take a moment to read and digest the lyrics:

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 kiss the face of God

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.

(Written by Buddy Greene and Mark Lowry)

Obviously, Mary couldn’t possibly have known all the amazing things Jesus would accomplish in His lifetime. We know that she was told He was the Son of God. Luke 1:35 records the angel’s words to Mary: “therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” She knew who Jesus was, but could she comprehend the magnitude? I don’t think so. Truth be told, none of us can wrap our heads around all the the Lord has done and continues to do for us.

Mary, we are told, treasured the wondrous acts she observed in her heart (Luke 2:19). There is a lesson in that for us. Do we treasure God’s wondrous deeds within our hearts? Do we marvel over each one as a precious gift or do we treat them as commonplace? Each time God answers our prayers, do we lift our souls in rapturous praise or do we shrug a thanks?

The striking lesson in this simple song is not, “what did Mary know?”. The lesson lies in this: Jesus will never cease to fill us with wonder. The Son of God, through whom the world was created, was willing to live on this earth in poverty, suffer disdain, and bear the torturous death on a cross so that we could be delivered from God’s much-deserved wrath.

These amazing realities in the gospels should stir our hearts with joy and conviction with each and every read.

Jesus astounded all who came in contact with Him. It wasn’t his dashing good looks or his phenomenal charisma, for as Isaiah tells us, “he had no form or comeliness that we might desire Him.” It was not pomp and circumstance for He was an impoverished itinerant. What drew people to Jesus was the depth of His compassion, His quiet authority, His defiance of natural laws, and above all, seeing the very nature and essence God dwelling among man. Most men would allow their fame to go to their head, but Jesus made it clear time after time after time that He was no “mere man.”

I wish I could have followed Jesus on those dusty Judean roads—to see the deep love in His eyes, to gaze in wonder at His mercy, to hear His calm voice over the roar of the storm. And yet Jesus says, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Through Jesus, God has done more than our finite minds can grasp. Through Jesus, we will be granted “scenes of bliss forever new” as the old hymn says. Through Jesus, we will never cease to be filled with wonder at the glorious greatness of the I AM.

Who knows what Mary knew? It doesn’t really matter.

What this song should convey to us is the awe we should feel in the presence of God and bring to our remembrance the hopeful expectation of the joy—forever new and forever wondrous—awaiting us in eternity.

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him…”

~ 1 Corinthians 2:9, ESV

14 thoughts on “The truth in the music.

  1. Beautifully written. Thank you. That song is amazing. One of my favourites.

    I love your comment:
    “These amazing realities in the gospels should stir our hearts with joy and conviction with each and every read.”

    Your comment does cause a deeper reflection in thinking of the Gospel content, as we are able to grow closer to our Lord Jesus Christ with every read. Also, IF we are open and honest, and allow ourselves to hear what Holy Spirit is saying to us, in teaching us of the Lord, but also teaching us about ourselves, and ways to grow and change.

    God’s Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There were 12 men who spent more time with Jesus than any other human beings and scripture tells us that they did not grasp Him or His message until after His resurrection. I have to admit though, this song is one of my pet peeves. Assuming Mary was a practicing Jew, which she was, we have to assume she had knowledge of the Pentateuch. She would also have heard many stories surrounding the Jewish anticipation of the coming Messiah. But most importantly, the angel Gabriel spoke directly to Mary, telling her, among other things, “You are to give Him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great. He will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the place where His early father David sat. 33 He will be King over the family of Jacob forever and His nation will have no end.” So, yeah, I think she knew. And they play this song way too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean. There are certain songs that drive me crazy too. (The kids like to hit repeat on those songs just for kicks.) I apologize if I got this one stuck in your head.

      Yes, Mary knew the basics—there would be a Messiah and the baby the Lord was entrusting to her was this Messiah. She knew who He was as far as her education went, but I don’t think she understood what that would involve. The prophet Simeon told Mary “a sword will pierce your soul” but it’s doubtful she comprehended that the sword would come in the form of a cross. (I cannot imagine what it would be like to see my son be tortured and killed before my very eyes, even if someone told me ahead of time.)

      We see things through the lens of hindsight. We know how the story ends, we’ve been given all the information. The Jews were influenced by the Jewish leaders and teachers who’s idea of the Messiah was of one who would come and overthrow the Romans, restoring Israel as a great kingdom. Comprehension was hampered by incorrect teaching. Mary would have likely had this idea as well. Jesus ran contrary to everyone’s expectations. Most Jews were thinking temporally, not spiritually.

      Their finite minds, like ours, only grasp a portion of God’s amazing deeds and His unfathomable nature. We “know” what He has promised, but we cannot possibly grasp the height or depth of it all. I am confident it will all be far more amazing than anything I can dream up.

      Mary also couldn’t have grasped the truly awesome deeds Jesus would perform. I would be willing to guess she gasped in amazement at the Wedding in Cana when the wine from water was passed around. She likely marveled to see her son alive when she had just witnessed his violent death mere days before. Mary possessed more pieces of the puzzle than others, but she did not see the big picture until Jesus rose from the dead.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. God be with you!


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