‘Tis the season for bad theology. The popular song “Mary, Did You Know?” is a good example of why theology is important. This song wonders if when Mary looked upon Jesus laying in a manger, did she know He would be the Saviour of both herself and the world? Let’s use this song and it’s question to see how a doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture is needful, even when you are just listening to the radio and hear someone trying to out Bing the most melodious Crosby in a syrupy Christmas song.
If you have a question about Jesus or Mary, is there a place to find the answer? The Bible is our only sufficient guide to knowing about God and His will (I Corinthians 2:7-16). For any question about spiritual matters, the Bible is your first and last stop. Mary, did you know? What says the Bible? If you read the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke, you find out that Mary knew Jesus was the Saviour. And so did Joseph, Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth, and even John the Baptist (still in the womb, but leaping for joy and the presence of Jesus). Mary knew explicitly because the angel came and told her, in no uncertain terms, and in very clear language, who Jesus would be. Not only did Mary know, she went on to write her own worshipful thoughts on the subject (Luke 1:46-55) all prior to His birth. If you read the second chapter, you’ll find that the shepherds knew, and then eight days later, so did Simeon and Anna. Mystery solved in the first two chapters of Luke. Mary, did you know? Yes; yes she did.
You may dismiss this as me being a curmudgeon telling the carolers to get off my lawn, but what we know about God, what we believe about Christ is important. My fear is this song is a good representation of professing Christendom. As long as the tune is catchy and it has a little dash of spirituality, it is a good song. A song that is supposedly written to make us think about and worship Christ is separated from and contrary to the Scriptures by which we know Christ (John 5:39).
The Bible tells us a lot about Mary. Mary knew about Jesus the same way we know; she received the Word of God and believed it by faith. Mary was a sinner, saved by grace (Luke 1:47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour). She rejoiced at the coming birth of Jesus because she was a sinner and Jesus is the Saviour. Mary’s faith stood firm on the truth of Scripture. Her praise in Luke 1:46-55 is jam packed with Old Testament illusions and references. She was a Spirit-filled, Scripture-filled worshiper of God in truth. Instead of listening to sentimental songs about Mary, it would be better to model her example by reading the Bible and receiving the truth about Jesus.