If Jesus is God, why did He not know the hour of His return?

Matt. 24:36, Mark 13:32

  1. (Mark 13:30-32), "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.  32But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone,"
  2. (Matt. 24:36), "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

This statement is found in the Gospel of Mark and Matt. 24:36. The answer is simple. Jesus is both God and man (John 1:1, 14, 20:28, Col. 2:9), and during His ministry in Jerusalem, He was cooperating with the limitations of being a man. As a man, Jesus walked and talked. As God, He was worshipped (Matt. 14:33, 28:9, Heb. 1:6), prayed to (Zech. 13:9, 1 Cor. 1:2), etc. This is called the Hypostatic Union.

During His earthly ministry, He moved in the power of the Holy Spirit and did His miracles by the Holy Spirit and not by His own divine power. This is because He was made for a little while lower than the angels (Heb. 2:9) and had emptied Himself and taken on the form of a man (Phil. 2:7).  This would explain why in Matt. 12:22-32--when the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of the devil--that Jesus said that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit would never be forgiven? Why? Because Jesus--as a man who was ministering completely as a man under the Law (Gal. 4:4-5)--did His miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit. This demonstrates that Christ was completely human and dependent upon God and that He was cooperating with the limitations of being human. That is why He said that He didn't know the day or hour of His return.

However, we see that after the resurrection of Christ that it is said of Him that He knows all things (John 21:17) and that He is omnipresent (Matt. 28:20). Therefore, after His resurrection and glorification, the Lord Jesus did know all things.


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About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.