Did Mary Know What Was to Come?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Christmas, Part 2

by Jeremy Ham on December 15, 2010

Mary was given certain information about the birth of the Savior, but how much did she really know? Jeremy Ham, AiG–U.S., explores this topic.

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give 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 1:31–33)

Today’s big question: did Mary know what was to come?

An angel came to Mary and told her about the birth of the Messiah. A prophecy of the coming of Jesus and what He came to do was nothing new, as there are many such statements in the Old Testament. However, we can now more easily recognize those prophecies and what they mean since we have the New Testament. Today’s question has been brought up before in the form of a Christmas song, which is entitled, “Mary, Did You Know?”

Ironically, after the angel told Mary of her Son and that He is the Son of the Lord God, she asked, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34). This could make one wonder if she truly understood the angel’s words. Of course, having an angel appear to you did not happen everyday (even in biblical times), let alone having one proclaim that you will give birth to the Son of God.

Mary wondered how this could come about physically, yet this is no reason to find fault with her. There is no indication that she actually doubted; though, she was definitely curious. We must remember that this was not the first time that someone wondered about how a prophecy would come about (e.g., Abraham and Sarah or Zacharias). If we were in their shoes, we might have done the same thing.

The angel described that the Holy Spirit would accomplish these things. After that, Mary acknowledged her trust in the Lord that it would come to past and her willing obedience to the plan.

Scripture never specifically states that Mary realized that her Son was to die on the Cross, but Mary did state the following:

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” (Luke 1:46–48)

Mary realized that her Son was the Son of God, and that He would affect the generations to come. Furthermore, with all the things that happened to Mary, how could she not realize that there was something special about this baby? Mary is a good example of how we should also trust in the Lord’s promises that He has given to us through His Word—whether we completely understand all the details or not.

Today’s big idea: we should trust in the Lord’s promises.

What to pray: thank God for the many promises He has given to us in Scripture.

Recommended Resources

Newsletter

Get the latest answers emailed to you or sign up for our free print newsletter.

See All Lists

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.