Christology: “Did Jesus Know Everything?”

shepherd3Interesting post from Peter Enns over at “Jesus Creed.” He raises an issue from Raymond E. Brown’s book Jesus: God and Man : Modern Biblical Reflections.

A Jesus who walked through the world knowing exactly what the morrow would bring, knowing with certainty that three days after his death his Father would raise him up, is a Jesus who can arouse our admiration, but still a Jesus far from us.

He is a Jesus far from mankind that can only hope in the future and believe in God’s goodness, far from a mankind that must face the supreme uncertainty of death with faith but without knowledge of what is beyond.

On the other hand, a Jesus for whom the future was as such a mystery, a dread, and a hope as it is for us and yet, at the same time a Jesus who would say, “Not my will but yours”–this is a Jesus who could effectively teach us how to live, for this is a Jesus who would have gone through life’s real trials.

Read the post and then consider: How much did Jesus as God-man know while in human form? Was he omniscient? Or was he walking in faith in the same sense in which he asks us to walk in faith?

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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13 Responses to Christology: “Did Jesus Know Everything?”

  1. John F says:

    So, did Jesus know what was for dinner WAY into the future? Must He know? I think He knew about the Last Supper (First Supper for the incipient Christian worship) before the creation of the world. God who has the ABILITY to know also has the ability to CHOOSE NOT TO KNOW (Cyril’s “ignorance”). When the woman with the issue of blood touched him in the crowd, Jesus said, “Who touched me?” Did He already know (felt power going out of him) and wanted to make known what had happened?

  2. Johnny Turner says:

    Philippians 2 seems to indicate that he laid aside much of his divine powers in order to live as a man.

  3. Royce Ogle says:

    Did God know everything during the years of Jesus life on earth? If he did, Jesus did.

  4. Royce, what is your rationale for saying this? Clearly, Philippians 2 indicates that he ’emptied’ himself of something to become one of us. What did this ’emptying’ entail?

  5. Dwight says:

    According to MAtt.24:30-36 ” Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”… “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”
    So Jesus didn’t even know the day of His appearing. This doesn’t mean that He wasn’t God in the Flesh, but that He wasn’t God the Father.
    But I don’t know of anyone who clearly know what Jesus “emptyied” Himself of. It could have been His (high) position in Heaven as opposed to His (lowly born) position on earth. Many believe that Jesus divested Himself of His diety until the Holy Spirit landed on Him during His baptism by John, but then again Matt.24 is many days after this and not before.

  6. Royce says:

    John 14:9, John 10:30 Are two examples that lead me to believe that even though “he emptied himself” he did not empty himself of his deity. He commanded the weather, he called the dead to life, turned water to wine and sinners to saints. He knew the hearts of men…

    For the Son of God to become flesh does not mean he was less than God though in glad submission to the Father. He was not overpowered by the Roman army when he was arrested and later crucified, he gave himself willingly to that end.

    I don’t claim to know all of the implications of Christ “emptying himself” but I find it difficult to believe he emptied himself the eternal attribute of omniscience. He did forego omnipresence for a time though.

    I readily admit I might be wrong but this is what i believe today.

  7. Monty says:

    One thing he emptied himself of was his glory. The Father said he would glorify him and when he ascended on high his glory was restored to him.

  8. Monty says:

    He emptied himself of his glory. The shekinah glory in order to become one of us. He retained his holiness for he was holy at birth. Obviously he wasn’t present everywhere at once as a human. God cannot be killed or die, so something was emptied there. He was love personified so he retained that innate quality of his being, too.

  9. Dwight says:

    When Jesus was called good, he deferred this quality to His Father. This isn’t to say that Jesus wasn’t good, but that God the Father was the epitome of good and His will is good. Jesus did the will of His father, not His own will and even though they are one in diety, they are not one in the same person. If Jesus is said to know all things it might be because God declares this to Him, but this doesn’t mean that Jesus is less God or Godly or perfect.

  10. Dwight says:

    Oh, yeah. I tend to think glory as well, as I don’t think he left a part of Him behind, but rather now He was one of us and in the lowest of stations as a carpenter’s son. He was worthy of being served and yet became a servant.

  11. I have not seen anyone commenting on 1 Timothy 2:5.

    For there is one God and there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.

    The general assumption here seems to be that Jesus gave up his humanity when he returned to the right hand of the father in glory. I’m not so sure of that. Yes, he is now “crowned with glory and honor” and yes, he is given “the name that is above every name.” But I believe he has these as a representative man who perfectly did the Father’s will – and, Ephesians 2:6 suggests that those who are in Christ share that glory with him now, even before we are glorified when he returns to deliver the kingdom to the Father and “God [the Father?] will be all in all.” Can it be that the Incarnation is now eternal?

    But all of this digresses from the question before us: Did Jesus know all things when he was in the flesh? If he did, he would have been able to talk as soon as he was born. Yes, he amazed the doctors in the temple at the age of 12, but was that because he was so far above them in knowledge or was it because one so young could so intelligently ask and answer questions? There are examples of supernatural powers and knowledge, but was that more than was shown by the OT prophets? Elisha raised the dead and knew where the king of Syria set his ambushes. He also multiplied the widow’s oil (or God did it through him). And Jesus himself claimed that his miracles of casting out demons was by “the finger of God” or “by the Holy Spirit.”

    Where he differed from the prophets was in the perfection of his manhood and obedience. Was he God incarnate? That is not a word used in the Bible – but the Hebrew writer says:

    Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. (Heb 1:1-4 ESV)

    To this both John (John 1:1ff), and Paul (Colossians 1:18ff) as to his activity on earth as the radiance and glory of God who reveals grace and truth while he was on earth and also as being with God in the beginning as the one through whom He made the world. So, it is right for us to think of him as God in the flesh, as the angel said to Joseph, quoting Isaiah, “‘….they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means God with us).”

    Since there were clearly things that he himself said he did not know while on earth, the answer to Jay’s question has to be a resounding, “NO!” This is not an inference backwards from his deity; it is based on his own statement.

  12. rich constant says:

    You know you might look at it from Jesus being under the law, so he had to be obedient to the law, if I’m remembering right he was about 12 and impressing the chief priests with his wisdom in the scriptures of course he got into the zone and he wound up about 3 days late going home what did he tell his dad.
    I was up to my father’s business I think something like that.
    Now what happens about the 12th birthday Acording to the law. the boy needs to be strictly under the family’s care and guidance.
    So I would think that he would be busy having relationship with his family learning and growing and doing the things that a brick mason or what we call a carpenter.
    what happens about their 30th birthday I’m not mistaken something like you can be a priest to God or a member of the Sanhedrin but I think you’ve got to be 30 so you might want to think on some of those things.
    And of course that way he becomes intimate with his community. That’s just something that I think

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