Jesus Doesn’t Know Everything
by Barrett Wolf
Deity of Jesus and Matthew 24:34-36. Throughout the Gospels, it seems Jesus believed that the “end” was imminent and soon. However, He didn’t know exactly. I have a difficult time with Jesus’ deity because of His lack of omniscience. Dare I say: Jesus was wrong? Or perhaps: those who wrote the Gospel stories didn’t represent Jesus accurately?
I have two problems with Matthew 24:34-36:
1. First, Jesus says that “this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.” He was referring to all the events of the end times and the coming of the Messianic Kingdom discussed in the preceding verses in chapter 24. Genea, the Greek work for “generation” has also been translated at times as “race”, referring to the race of Jews (Israelites). But, all English translations translate the word into generation. This is consistent with what Jesus must have thought since he told his disciples earlier “…some of you will not pass away”. Jesus clearly believed the “end” was coming very soon. He was an apocalyptic preacher (along with his cousin, John the Baptist) whose teaching “the kingdom of heaven is ‘at hand'”, who sincerely believed the end of the world was imminent (within that generation). “Take no concern for tomorrow” was a consistent teaching theme of Jesus.
2. Second, He says he does not know which day or hour he will return. Just like the angels, who remain ignorant of the timing of this event, Jesus doesn’t have a clue. Only his Father does. Then, in verses 37 and following, he refers to himself as Son of Man (a Messianic title bestowed by the prophet Daniel in the Old Testament) and the suddenness of the event that will surprise everyone. If Jesus were truly God, if he were truly omniscient and a rightful member of the Trinity, he would know all things.