Did Mary Know What Was to Come?

Christmas Devotional

by Jeremy Ham on December 15, 2010; last featured December 21, 2018

Mary was given certain information about the birth of the Savior, but how much did she really know?

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He 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 (Luke 1:31–33).

An angel came to Mary and told her about the birth of the Messiah. A prophecy of the coming of Jesus and what the Messiah would come 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. This 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 that her Son was the Son of the Lord God, she asked, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34). This could make one wonder if she truly understood the angel’s words. Of course, having an angel appear did not happen everyday (even in biblical times), let alone having one proclaim that you will give birth to the Son of God!

We should trust in the Lord’s promises

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 pass 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 rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed (Luke 1:46–48).

Mary realized that her Son was the Son of God who would affect all 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 given to us in the Bible—whether we completely understand all the details or not.

Thank God for the many promises given to us in Scripture.


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