What Mary Knew
“And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”” – Luke 1:38
Mary did you know? Most Christians are familiar with Mark Lowry’s 1984 lyrics that probe questions to the mother of Christ as to what she was aware of as she held her child for the first time in that little town of Bethlehem.
Let’s reflect in wonder following 2020’s first Sunday of Advent. Here are seven truths that Mary was told and believed before the Christ was born.
1. Mary was highly favored by God (Luke 1:28)
Visited by the angel Gabriel, Mary is greeted with words that any human should leap for joy at the hearing. “Me? Frail me? Sinful me? Undeserving me?” However, if honest with ourselves, any of our joy could never be founded in our feelings of personal adequacy. Honest people would be troubled like Mary at those words (Luke 1:29). Who could ever respond with boldness, “Why yes, of course I am favored by God! Thank you for reminding me how worthy I am.” True joy at this statement is from the understanding of our unworthiness coupled with God’s extraordinary kindness.
2. The Lord was with Mary (Luke 1:28)
If you are favored by God, He is with you. What greater favor could Mary receive than to have God on her side? Whatever God says after this is favor of Mary will be accomplished by Him being with her. Mary is not intrinsically worthy. God has favored her and is with her.
3. Mary will bear a great Son. (Luke 1:32)
To be told initially by divine foretelling that her son would be great is the tip of the iceberg of wonder in store for Mary. How is greatness defined? What scale should be used to measure the greatness of Mary’s Son? Let’s take a look.
4. Mary’s Son will be Son of the Most High, not of a human father. (1:32, 35)
What make’s Mary’s Son great? He is Son of the of the Most High (in v. 35 “Son of God”) which refers to the Old Testament prophecy connecting the coming Messiah (the “Anointed” mentioned in Psalm 2:2) as the Son of God (Psalm 2:7).
However, Mary’s Son is incapable of having a human father (she is a virgin), and if her Son has a human father, how can He also be God’s Son? Gabriel openly reveals that the father of Mary’s Son will be divine from the work of the Holy Spirit. God will defy natural with the supernatural to conceive in Mary His only begotten Son.
5. Mary’s Son will rule as a king (Luke 1:32)
What make’s Mary’s Son great? He will be a king like his family predecessor, David.
6. Mary’s Son will reign eternally (Luke 1:33)
Greatness beyond measure is in this Son, for he will reign forever as was promised to David and his offspring (2 Samuel 7:13).
7. Mary’s Son will be holy—the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)
Holy is not a throw-away word. Mary’s Son will be holy. Though we sometimes may struggle with the definition of that word, Gabriel is not ambiguous when he refers to Jesus as holy. Jesus is the set apart Son of God. How much more holy can one be? God is holy. God’s Son is holy.
Yes, Mary may not have known that her Son would one day walk on water, but God revealed to her from the start that He was working in her (despite of her human frailties) to bring about the greatest wonder and moment in the history of creation—the birth of His great, kingly, eternal, holy Son. And yes, Mary heard and believed.
“And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” – Luke 1:38
“God, I am yours to live in obedience to you. Let your faithful word be done.”