What Jesus didn’t know

When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush he revealed his name to him.

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”
Exodus 3:13-15

God revealed to Moses that his name was I Am.  Jesus applied that name to himself.

“Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am.”

So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
John 8:56-59

Jesus forgave sins.

And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.

And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Mark 2:3-7

He accepted worship.

Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”

Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.”

He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
John 9:35-38

By applying to himself a name that belonged to God, claiming to forgive sins, and accepting worship Jesus asserted his deity.  But he also made a statement that seems to contradict this claim.

From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.

Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 

But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
Matthew 24:32-36

God is omniscient but Jesus said that there was one thing, the day and hour of his return, that he did not know.  So how could be be God?

This apparent contradiction is explained by the fact that Jesus was also human.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Philippians 2:5-7

Humans are born without any knowledge and spend their lives learning new things.  This was the experience of Jesus during his incarnation.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.
Luke 2:52

The education of Jesus certainly included a study of the scriptures that God has revealed and because he was a perfect human he must have acquired a perfect knowledge of the scriptures, but there are some things that God hasn’t revealed to us.

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Deuteronomy 29:29

Before his incarnation and after his resurrection Jesus had knowledge of the secret things but during the time he lived on earth he knew only the things that had been revealed.  The fact that he didn’t know the day or hour of his return proves that God has never revealed that information.

Since Jesus returned to Heaven the Holy Spirit has revealed new truth to us.  One new revelation is the rapture of the Church.

For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

God has told us the rapture will take place but he hasn’t revealed when it will happen.  Paul obviously didn’t know because his use of the word “we” shows he considered it possible that he would still be alive.

Even though Jesus said we can’t know the exact time of his return there have been many who claimed they did know.  You probably remember that not long ago a radio preacher named Harold Camping predicted that the rapture would take place on May 21, 2011.  He was just one of many who have made such claims.

Predicting the time of Christ’s return and having that prediction turn out to be wrong isn’t simply a case of interpreting the Bible incorrectly.  Anyone making such a prediction is actually saying he knows more than Jesus and that he has access to information that Jesus didn’t have.

We don’t know when Jesus will return or when the other events prophesied in the Bible will take place but the Bible gives us a lot of information about what will happen in the future.  If you want to study prophecy this site is a good introduction to the subject:


Here are two good sites for those who want to learn more:



Posted on May 30, 2015, in Bible study, prophecy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Nice post. It always bugs me when someone declares that God will return on such and such date. When that happens, the one thing I know is that no one should listen to that person.

    But with all the crazy things happening in the world, I find myself saying more and more, “Come soon Lord Jesus, come soon!”


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