Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
These two perplexing scriptures reveal Jesus’ apparent lack of knowing “all things”. The logic being: If Jesus is God, how can he not know all things? Does not Jesus know all things? If he does not, he cannot be God. This is where it gets interesting.
Some background research is in order.
First, the disciples clearly believed Jesus knew all things:
John 16:30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
John 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
And Jesus clearly knew the Father:
Luke 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
So, what is the problem here with these two verses?
Here is the answer. The two verses are divinely designed to fulfill God’s will. Here is why.
The two verses appear in Matthew chapter 24 and Mark chapter 13 where Jesus is speaking of his prophetic return. These two chapters are identical mirror images of each other in content.
They each cover the following topics in order:
Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple
Signs of the End of the Age
The Abomination of Desolation
The Coming of the Son of Man
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
No One Knows That Day and Hour
Jesus is speaking in these two chapters and clearly knows some things about the future and the endtime. All things! He clearly knows the state of the earth and the signs preceding his return.
But, what about the perplexing verses of Mat. 24:36 & Mar 13:32 that Jesus somehow does not “know” the exact day and hour of his own second coming? Why? Because it is the Father’s will to intentionally withhold this “classified” information and not reveal it.
And this is the key point: Remember, Jesus is bound to his disciples to reveal to them (and his church today) the revealed Word/Logos (John 1:1-2, 14):
Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. John 17:7-8
However, it is not God’s will to reveal the timing of His return because of what Jesus discusses at the end of both of these chapters. And that is differentiating between faithful and unfaithful servants.
God is intentionally withholding that information from all mankind because Jesus’ exact coming will be a total surprise. No living human being will ever know it. Why? To separate those who truly love him (wise and faithful servants) from those who are insincere and playing games.
Everybody will jump on the ‘Jesus’ Homecoming Celebration’ bandwagon if they knew the exact day and hour when he returns to earth. But, that is not going to be the case.
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Matthew 24:44
But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, Matthew 24:48-50
The revelation of the exact time of Jesus’ second coming is a secret never to be revealed by the eternal Spirit of Almighty God to mankind. It is Jesus’ choice rather than a lack of knowledge.
Jesus knew all things, but he intentionally choose not to reveal or “know” some things while on earth in obedience to the perfect will (Word/Logos) of God.
As a corollary to the previous litmus test of false doctrine, here is another:
Anyone who predicts the exact time and/or day of Jesus’ second coming is not exercising sound doctrine.
Happy 4th of July!