Is Jesus omniscient?

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” Mark 13:32
There has been so much talk about possible end time scenarios these days. While researching on this, I came upon this interesting passage in the Bible and few of the questions that it raised about my understanding of Jesus as an equal part of the God head.
Does this mean that Jesus does not know something?
So would that automatically imply that he is not all knowing?
Does this imply their a hierarchy in the trinity, since we know that God The Father is All knowing?

Hi Akshay,

Good question.

If Jesus is God (and He is (John 10:30)) than as God He must be omniscient, it is one of the irrefutable characteristics of God, the greatest conceivable being.

But, Jesus is also a man and in His humanity He limited Himself in a way that is as hard for us to understand as it is true. He HUMBLED Himself and became a man, just like us, to become the perfect sacrifice and Jesus the man has willingly limited Himself. (Phil 2:5-11) It is a wonderful mystery, isn’t it? But it’s the Truth that brings us eternal life.

Hope that helps a bit. God bless.

4 Likes

It is interesting that you bring this up. There are a couple passages of Scripture to think about.

  1. Hebrews 2:9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely , Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
  2. John 14:12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

The first Scripture is clearly saying in Hebrews that Jesus set aside the privileges of His Godhood while on earth to be fully man. He did this so that He might taste death for everyone. What this means is that Jesus never ascribed to Himself the power to work miracles while on earth prior to His crucifixion. All the miracles credited to Him were by the Holy Spirit upon request in the perfect Will of The Father.
The second Scripture is clearly saying that because Jesus has gone to The Father those that believe in Him will do even greater works than He did on earth. Does this mean His disciples will do miracles? We will do miracles just as Jesus did miracles. That is through The Holy Spirit in the perfect Will of the Father.

Understanding that Jesus set aside His privilege as God during His walk on earth is to understand another dimension of His Love for us. Understanding that God will do miracles through us that are even greater than in the Gospels is to understand the great privilege we have because our Advocate is with The Father.

Just something to think about.
Dan

4 Likes

Excellent answers so far. I’ll just add that Philippians 2:5-8 reveals that during His time on earth, Jesus deliberately chose to do life as a man. This was necessary in order for Him to be a pattern for us to follow. He could hardly face everything that we do with all His omnipotence and omniscience at His command - and then tell us, “Okay - your turn!”

And so He temporarily emptied Himself of His divine powers. Every miracle He did was in the power of the Spirit - same as He calls on us to do. Every bit of wisdom He revealed was given to Him through the Spirit - same as us. And so He could legitimately call on us to follow His steps because He had given us a pattern for how it is done - a pattern we could actually follow as we walk in the Spirit of Christ.

Hope it helps!

2 Likes

Thank you all for your thoughtful and articulate replies. It was interesting to get various views on this passage. I agree with all of you on the things that you have stated, however since the aim was to explore the same not only from the spiritual angle (which is the most important angle in my opinion) but also from an apologetic viewpoint. Here is my brief summary from what i have gathered over the past few days:

  1. Cultural Context. There is a Jewish tradition in which the Father of the groom decides when the groom would bring the bride to the father’s house. The groom, bride and the relatives await this decision of the father. This scenario fits perfectly with the narrative of the Bride being the church and the groom Jesus coming to get the bride to the Fathers house at the time decided by the Father. Thus, Jesus is merely following a precedent of letting the father decide which no doubt would be understood by his Jewish audience at that time. This does not take anything away from his omniscience.

  2. Historical Context. It was in the Council of Chalcedonian in the AD 451, that the decision that Jesus has two natures in one person was taken and understood. Godhead and Manhood. The aspect of the perfect equality of the Holy spirit, the Father and the Son was decided in the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381, also known as the Trinitarian doctrine. These questions which I have mentioned were raised by people all throughout the ages, we now take them for granted and have been hearing what was decided in these councils in our churches all our lives. Some are not clearly mentioned in the Bible e.g. there is no mention of the trinity in the bible. It is inferred.

  3. Logical reasoning. Since Jesus is God and therefore is Omnipotent; all powerful. His power extends to the fact that he can choose to not know something. Therefore, he can choose being all powerful to not know something and that will be not take anything away from his Godly nature. Basically, since he has all the power, he has the power to not know something.

  4. There is no hierarchy at all, it’s a perfect equality . Jesus with his perfect trust on the Father, does not need to know. Since there is a perfect equality, the Father knows and that’s enough.

  5. Why is it important? I think just as Jesus completely trusts the father we all can do the same. I don’t really need to really know the timings for everything in my life be it job related matters, marriage, the timing of the end times even (the hot topic these days) or even when the virus is going to end. The father knows and that enough.

  6. Summary.

(a) Jesus may choose not to know something, even though he is all knowing because
he is all powerful and can do whatever he wants according to his perfect nature.

(b) The knowing of the exact time is left for the Father to decide based of an already existing cultural precedent, a tradition well known to the Jewish people and thus does not indicate that Jesus is less powerful, he is merely following a way of doing something.

(c ) Jesus is Omniscient, Omnipotent and all the other good Omnis combined.