“Mary’s Boy Child” was written by Jester Hairston. It is believed that the song started as a birthday party song for a friend. Some years later, he changed the lyrics to what we have now. Harry Belafonte heard the Christmas carol being performed by a choir and sought permission to record it. Verse one says,
Long time ago in Bethlehem
So the Holy Bible say
Mary’s Boy Child, Jesus Christ
Was born on Christmas Day!
“Mary’s Boy Child” goes on to talk about the shepherds, the bright new shining star, angel’s singing, Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem, and that there was no room for them.
This carol closes with verse seven saying.
Trumpets sound and angels sing,
Listen to what they say!
That man will live forevermore
Because of Christmas Day!
One phrase jumped out at me, “That man will live forevermore.” This “forevermore” is also referenced in the fifth verse. Jesus came to earth to die so we could live – forevermore. Jesus offers eternal life.
The Bible talks about “forevermore” often. In the Gospel of John, we see this concept of eternal life referenced seventeen times. I think it is worth taking the time to review them.
“That whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” John 3:15
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” John 3:36
“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
“Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.” John 4:36
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” John 5:24
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.” John 5:39
“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” John 6:27
“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.” John 6:47
“Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:54
“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’” John 6:68
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28
“Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:25
“And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” John 12:50
“Since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.” John 17:2
“And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3
I like the movie Sandlot and a young boy referenced as Squints says, “For-ev-er, for-ev-er, for-ev-er.” Eternal life is forever. Check the verses again, this life is only through Jesus the Christ.