What Mary Could Not Know

Justin Johnson

The popular song Mary Did You Know raises very interesting questions about what Mary knew about God manifest in the flesh. What did Mary know? What could she know? Probably a lot more than people give her credit for.

After all, the angel did say:

“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” – Luke 1:32-33

The prophets declared that his name would be “God with us” (Mat 1:23). Then, just in case they were thick as bricks, contemporary prophets gave them more prophecies about Jesus (Luke 1:67, Luke 2:19, Luke 2:34, Luke 2:36).

Nevertheless, of all the things that Mary could and probably did know, there is one thing that she most definitely did not know.

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations…” – Col 1:26

Mary did not know the mystery of Christ that was first revealed later to Saul of Tarsus.

This means Mary was ignorant of how Jesus would be crucified to save all men freely by his blood. Jesus’ own disciples were ignorant of his death when the Lord talked about his death:

“And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” – Luke 18:33-34

It was Mary who invoked Jesus to perform his first recorded miracle:

“And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.” – John 20:3

Yet, Mary did not know that he would resurrect three days after his crucifixion. The disciples of Jesus thought that men stole his body when they found the tomb empty:

“’They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.’… For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” – John 20:2,9

Mary was a law abiding Jew making purity sacrifices (Luke 2:24). She would have been baptized by water for the remission of her sins as she trusted her son to be the Messiah, God with us.

She lived her entire life under the law of Moses and did not know how Gentiles could receive righteousness without the law, covenants, and blessings through Israel (Gal 4:4).

There is every indication that Mary knew that her baby would one day rule the nations. However, what was kept secret from Mary, the angels, and the prophets were the things more excellent about the great mystery of God’s will and of Christ (Eph 1:9-10, Rom 16:25).

Studying what Mary or the angels knew is a good study in the Messianic kingdom given to Israel, but participating in the doctrine of Mary or her angels would be a practice in ignorance of the mystery of Christ. She did not know the gospel that saves in this dispensation.

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Published: December 24, 2011
Last Modified: March 24, 2017
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