A few years ago Mark Lawry wrote a song destined to become a classic entitled “Mary, Did you Know?” The words invited you to consider Mary as she cuddled her newborn King, “Mary, did you know your baby boy would one day walk on water?” The element of awe in the song is tremendous, and you can’t help ponder, as Mary did, the humble beginnings of her son and His ultimate glory.
Most Christians think a lot about Mary at Christmas and Easter—how she must have been shunned when she delivered a baby too soon after marriage, her reaction when she was told, as a virgin, that she would have a child. Our minds shift in an even more painful direction as we consider her thirty three years later, no longer young, standing at the cross, watching her firstborn die. Mary, did you know?
We don’t think much about Mary in those intermediate years. After all, we don’t hear
about Jesus from two to twelve, and then not again until thirty. But in those days of his ministry, I wonder what her life was like. Wonder how many people came up to her and said, “Mary, did you know?” “ Did you hear that the Sanhedrin despises Jesus?” “Did you know that Jesus got angry and threw a bunch of p people out of the temple?”
I’m sure that Mary had friends, and Jesus had some followers in his hometown, but I wonder how many well-meaning remarks were made to see if Mary just might share some of the “inside” story. “Mary, did you know Jesus called my great uncle, a learned man, a viper?” “Mary, did you know Jesus hangs around with a bunch of publicans and fishermen. I thought you told me, Mary, he’d be something special. What’s special about that?” “Mary, did you know I heard there was a conspiracy to kill him?” “Mary, did you know your son is calling himself the son of God?”
Sometimes, we too have inside information. Maybe it’s our child who is in some sort of trouble. Maybe a friend of ours has confided something important to us that we mustn’t reveal. Or maybe God has given us something to do that’s not all that popular with religious people. We must be aware that there will be those who are genuinely behind us, who labor for our friend in prayer, but that there will also be others who disguise their thrill-seeking, and need to know behind seemingly caring remarks, “Mary, did you know?” It is then that we need discernment, to hear directly from God as Mary did. And when we pass the women at the well, absorbed in discussing the situation as they’ve heard it, we have the grace to walk on.