Christmas in Prophecy: Mary Did You Know
By Nathan Jones
Did Mary prophesy concerning her son, Jesus Christ?
Jesus fulfilled all 108 distinct Bible prophecies concerning the Messiah’s First Coming. Anyone who thinks that is an accident knows nothing — absolutely nothing — about the laws of probability. Prophecy is proof positive that Jesus is God in the flesh. On a recent television episode of Christ in Prophecy, Dr. David Reagan and Nathan Jones, along with guest Dennis Pollock, set out to demonstrate this amazing fact and in doing so revealed the life-changing impact such knowledge can make on a person’s life.
Mary Did You Know
Dr. Reagan: We’re continuing our discussion of Christmas in Bible prophecy. So far we’ve taken a look at a number of Old Testament prophecies that relate to the birth of Jesus. Now, we’ll shift to the New Testament and consider a series of prophecies that also relate to the Savior’s birth.
We’ll start with the prophecy that Gabriel gave to Mary, what we call the Annunciation, when he announced that the Messiah was coming. In doing so, Gabriel pronounced some very interesting prophecies.
Nathan Jones: He certainly did! We can find this story in Luke 1:26-33.
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
And so the story goes. Basically, Gabriel tells Mary, “Hello, highly favored one! You are about to give birth to the Messiah.” She replies rather surprised, “Me? I’m just a virgin.”
Gabriel makes quite a number of different points that are messianic and in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. One was that she would, of course, give birth to the Messiah. Gabriel also revealed the baby would be a boy. Gabriel didn’t say Mary was going to have a girl, or wasn’t sure what gender it would be. He definitely said she would be having a boy. Gabriel then even shared the baby’s name. He would be named Jesus, which means the salvation of God. He wouldn’t be just any baby, but the Son of the Most High God. Every one of these prophecies were precisely fulfilled exactly 100%.
Dr. Reagan: Mary sang a prophetic song when she visited Elizabeth. Both women by this point in time were pregnant.
Dennis Pollock: It’s such a beautiful song. It’s both poetry and song. It’s also anointed as prophetic.
Dr. Reagan: The song reveals that Mary was a person who really knew the Scriptures.
Dennis Pollock: She did. Certainly it would be possible for God to just inject the words into her mouth, but that’s not normally the way He works. Chances are she did know the Bible, hence something to do with why the angel Gabriel called her highly favored of God. Remember, Mary’s a very young lady. How many young ladies today or in any generation are Bible students, especially at the age of 13 or 14?
Mary’s song actually quotes Scriptures. She is quoting, “My soul magnifies the Lord. My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” It’s just beautiful, anointed poetry, revealing Mary was indeed a special young lady. No wonder Gabriel called her “highly favored one,” for she was devoted and chosen by God to bear the Messiah.
Mary did ask, “How can this be?” Months earlier, when the priest Zacharias had his own experience with Gabriel, he replied with a request for a sign. With Mary, the angel was rather more gentle, and just said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you.” But, with Zacharias, he was like, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the presence of God. And you’re not going to speak for a while, Fella’.” Maybe because Mary was so highly favored by God that the angel gave her a pass on her question.
Dr. Reagan: Really interesting! Mary pronounces some very specific prophecies in her song. She reveals her child will bring down rulers, and yet He will exalt the humble and fill the hungry. On and on the life of Jesus is revealed by Mary.
Mary uses what theologians call the proleptic tense, which is a literary device that most people are unaware of. It’s used when God speaks of something that is going to happen in the future, but He says it in the past tense, as if it’s already happened, because as far as He’s concerned, it already has. Our future is God’s past. Sometimes the use of proleptic tense can be confusing. All of Mary’s song utilizes that particular tense.
One thing in particular I want us to note here, is notice how the song begins with the very first verse. “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” Mary said point blank that she needed a Savior. Mary need a Savior just like I need a Savior, and just like we all need a Savior. And yet, many teach that Mary never sinned and had no need for a Savior. But, Mary acknowledged that she was a sinner just like the rest of us.
Dennis Pollock: In the Christmas song by Matt Lowry, “Mary Did You Know,” I love the line that goes, “The child whom you delivered will soon deliverer you.” How powerful! Mary delivered Jesus at His birth, but He later went on to deliver her from the punishment for her sins. Beautiful song!
In the fifth segment of our study about how Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled all 108 distinct Bible prophecies concerning the Messiah’s First Coming, angels surprise some shepherds.