A Question I Was Asked:

If Jesus is God Wouldn't He Know the Time and Hour of His Return?

If Jesus is God wouldn't He know the time and hour of His return? I was thinking of this Bible text:

Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away." But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah." (Matthew 24:35-37).

If Jesus is God in flesh (as is commonly taught), then wouldn't He know the day and hour of his return to earth? After all, God knows all things. Therefore, if Jesus doesn't know all things, then He cannot be God.

UK Apologetics Reply:

This objection is not unusual, it comes up quite a lot, typically from the Jehovah's Witnesses, or from people who have been partly influenced by such groups. In fairness, it is a good question which deserves to be addressed.

The short answer is that while upon this earth Jesus emptied Himself of some of the attributes of His Godhood, He needed to do this in order to live His life as a man. Let us not forget that Jesus was both God and man. He had two natures. He was divine - and always had been - and he also received a human nature to live upon this earth. These Scriptures will help:

9. But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10. In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. (Hebrews 2:9-11).

In order to be our Saviour Jesus needed to live as a man; He had to experience life in the flesh to be a perfect and merciful High Priest. He had to experience physical pain, trauma and suffering. He needed to experience that certain 'lostness' as puny individuals alone in a great big universe which we all occasionally feel. He remained deity as the very Creator of that universe, but He needed a human perspective. Colossians tells us this:

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, (Colossians 2:9).

So whilst living as a man, Jesus cooperated with the limitations of being a man. Whilst living upon this earth, Jesus could honestly claim that He did not know the day nor hour of His return. That is in no sense any sort of denial of His deity. These are some of the areas He needed to empty Himself from for this brief period of around 33 years. Look at this:

5. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7. rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8).

Before the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, He said the Father alone knew the day and hour of His return. It wasn't until after Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection that full omniscience returns to Jesus. So Jesus was simply cooperating with the limitations of being a man and completed His ministry on this earth in an appropriate manner. Of course, He was glorified in His resurrection. Nevertheless, we should still look upon Jesus as a man (as well as looking upon Him as God, of course):

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:5).

The Greatest Blood Donor of All Time

It is worth bearing in mind that according to the theology of groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus could not have been our Saviour. Why? Because they insist He was a sort of angelic creation who only gave the appearance and impression of living as a man. They also insist that He wasn't God in the flesh. According to this reasoning it is impossible for Jesus to have poured out His blood for the sins of mankind. Why? Because an angel has no blood. It is ironical that a group which does not believe in blood transfusion are also blind to the work of the greatest blood donor of all time - the Lord Jesus Christ!

Robin A. Brace. September 18th, 2016.