We're speaking, of course, about the iconic Mary, Did You Know? This hauntingly beautiful song, written by Mark Lowry, has been covered by dozens of artists over the years such as Kenny Rogers, Cee Lo Greene, and Pentatonix. It has become a staple of most modern holiday albums. It is a poignant song about the fact that Jesus was not just an ordinary baby, but none other but the great I AM. At its core, it highlights the deity of Christ, a central doctrine of the historic Christian faith.
Why do some feel it is their life mission to snipe and point out the flaws in such a moving tune?
Yet, snipes come. And surprisingly, most of the vehemence comes from Christian circles. Theologians smugly smile and point out that Mary did indeed know how special Jesus was. Most trot out doctrinal distinctives the same way they point out how silly it is to have three wise men at the manger when every knowledgeable believer knows that there were more than three wise men and they did not show up until two years later at Joseph's house. Others are a little more blunt, saying, "I hate this song--of course, Mary knew!" There's even a post that questionably changes the lyrics to read, "Mary freaking knew. . .that her baby boy. . .would someday walk on water . . ."
Yes, Mary knew. Maybe not every specific detail of Jesus' life and ministry (since they had not happened yet), but yeah, she knew that Jesus was not just a baby in the manger. Nobody disputes that.
What the "Christmas critics" don't seem to get is that the question, "Mary, did you know. . ." is a rhetorical one. Like an interviewer who asks a marathon winner, "who got to the finish line first?", the singer of this song is not fishing for information, but reinforcing what is already known. He or she is not interrogating Mary, but reminiscing with her.
And really, most importantly: the song isn't for Mary. It's not about her or what she knows or knew or anything. It's not actually asking Mary if she knew.
It's asking us if we know.
Did we know that the Baby in the manger that we so casually reference every December is none other than God in human flesh? That He came for a purpose, a reason, a terrible, tragic, exciting, blessed mission to save mankind from sin?
And does knowing this make a difference in our lives? In your life?
The problem is, a lot of people don't know. And a lot of people who do know, don't really believe it.
As we prepare for Christmas, may we realize that the little baby in the manger is indeed Lord of all creation and that He is the great I AM: God in human flesh.
Do you know?