Did Jesus know the timing of the judgement?

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By BibleAsk Team


The question of whether Jesus, as God incarnate, knew the timing of Judgment Day is a theological question that requires examining biblical passages and the nature of the incarnation as presented in Scriptures.

Understanding Jesus’ Nature: Fully God and Fully Man

Incarnation and Limitations

Central to understanding why Christ did not know the timing of Judgment Day is the concept of the Incarnation—the theological belief that Jesus, the Son of God, took on human flesh while retaining His divine nature.

  • John 1:1, 14: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

These verses affirm Christ’s divine nature (“the Word was God”) and His incarnation (“the Word became flesh”), highlighting His simultaneous existence as fully God and fully human.

Philippians 2:5-8

  • Philippians 2:5-8: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

This passage underscores Christ’s voluntary humility and obedience in taking on human form, emphasizing His dual nature as both divine and human.

Biblical Passages on Christ’s Knowledge

Christ’s Statements About His Knowledge

In several instances, Christ makes statements about His knowledge that provide insights into His understanding and limitations during His earthly ministry.

  • Mark 13:32: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

This statement by Christ indicates that there are certain things, including the timing of Judgment Day, that are known only to the Father and not even to the Son during His earthly ministry.

Christ’s Growth in Knowledge

  • Luke 2:52: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”

This verse suggests that Christ, while fully divine, also experienced growth in wisdom during His human life, indicating a progressive understanding of His mission and the unfolding plan of God.

Christ’s Submission to the Father

  • John 5:30: “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”

Christ’s submission to the Father’s will underscores His role as obedient Son, willingly aligning His actions and knowledge with the Father’s purposes.

Theological Perspectives on Jesus’ Knowledge

The Bible affirms the simultaneous existence of Christ’s divine and human natures.

  • Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

This verse highlights Christ’s complete identification with humanity, experiencing human limitations and challenges while remaining sinless and divine.

The Bible also affirms that Christ voluntarily set aside certain divine attributes or prerogatives while on earth.
  • Philippians 2:7 (NKJV): “But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”

This verse suggests that Christ, in taking on human form, temporarily relinquished the full exercise of His divine attributes, including omniscience (all-knowing).

Purpose and Significance

Redemptive Mission

Christ’s earthly ministry and sacrificial death were central to God’s plan for redemption and reconciliation with humanity.

  • John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Christ’s focus on fulfilling His redemptive mission involved obedience to the Father’s will, even in matters where His knowledge was limited.

Trust and Dependence

Jesus’ statement about not knowing the timing of Judgment Day underscores trust and dependence on the Father’s perfect timing and sovereignty.

  • Matthew 26:39: “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.'”

In His prayer at Gethsemane, Christ exemplifies submission to the Father’s will, demonstrating reliance on divine wisdom and sovereignty beyond His immediate understanding.

Conclusion

The question of why Jesus, as God incarnate, did not know the timing of Judgment Day involves understanding His dual nature as fully God and fully human. Biblical passages indicate that while Christ possessed divine attributes, including omniscience, His earthly ministry involved voluntary limitations and submission to the Father’s will. This aspect of His knowledge highlights His humility, obedience, and dependence on the Father, illustrating the profound mystery and depth of His incarnation.

Ultimately, Christ’s mission was to reveal God’s love, provide redemption through His sacrificial death, and model perfect obedience and trust in the Father’s plan. As believers reflect on the Savior’s earthly ministry, they are called to emulate His humility, obedience, and trust in God’s sovereignty, recognizing His profound example of divine love and sacrifice for all humanity.

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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