Sermon – December 22, 2019
Written in 1984 and released in 1991, the popular Christmas song Mary Did You Know? has reached the top ten songs on two different Billboard charts. But it is an odd song – the questions don’t really ever get answered and some are not even worth asking! From a biblical perspective, it is a better option to ask of her questions we already have answered. What did Mary know? In Luke, Mary’s praise of God in the presence of Elizabeth demonstrates a surprising depth of faith and biblical acumen. She might not have known everything, and certainly had many lingering questions, but we can learn much from what Mary knew.
1. God is majestic
Mary begins her song of praise by magnifying God – by noting that he is larger in her eyes then ever. Her soul rejoices in God. But not without reason! God has greatly changed her estate. She was a humble, poor woman, who now will be known forevermore as blessed by God. This great change is only because of the small child she now carries in her womb. Jesus takes the humble and makes them great simply by his presence, even as a child!
2. God is mighty
God is the ever-able-one. He is capable of making any desire of his come into reality. Indeed, he needs nothing but his will to make such things happen. Mary is the first to ask the stirring question that has come down the ages to us: How can these things be? The angels ultimate answer is simple: Nothing will be impossible with God. God can do all things, for he is a mighty God and will deliver his people.
3. God is merciful
It is important to remember that God is not just majestic and mighty, but merciful as well. His mercy is never-ending, known from generation to generation, but manifested in a mighty way in this small child. Let all who fear him run to Christ and receive his mercy.
4. God is never challenged
But he is not just merciful. A strong strain of warning runs through Mary’s song. The mighty, the exalted, the rich are much humbled in the presence of this king. Jesus will have no challengers to his throne, whether that kingdom is great and mighty or just your small life. Jesus has no challengers, ultimately. Humble yourself before this king, lest he humble you!
5. God is never covetous
We might think that Jesus is just hungry for our goods, praise, glory like all others who have claimed ultimate allegiance before him. But he hasn’t come for those things, and he needs nothing from us. His task is not to be served, but to serve. It is to empty himself and give himself for us. He fills the bellies of the hungry, exalts the humble, and helps his servants. Jesus is never greedy or covetous.
6. God is never changing
Mary knows much of this because Jesus is now with her, but it was long foretold to her. God is good to his promises, and good to them because of the child found in Mary’s womb. God never changes, he doesn’t waver or begin to question his promises, but makes them all sure in Jesus Christ. Praise God for Jesus!
And may we know well what Mary knew!