If Jesus Is God, Why Didn’t He Know Everything

The right theory or interpretation of Jesus not knowing the day or the hour  is to say that this is just how the incarnation works. Incarnation means “in the flesh” or “in the body”. Jesus comes in a human body. That’s just how it works when God comes in human form. It works that way because he’s truly  human. This passage is about helping  to reassure us of the humanity of Christ; it’s not a challenge to his deity because Christian doctrine has always  held that Jesus is God and man – two natures. He’s deity and human, both. So if he’s God and man, this passage is giving us both in one verse. He’s the son of the father and he’s also  a human. 

Luke 2 52 Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.  Jesus increased in wisdom. Now this is Jesus when he’s 12. In Luke 2, he’s 12, he visits the temple,  he’s there having discussions with the leaders and teachers and he then grows  from 12 until the next time you see him in any of the gospels, he’s like about 30 years  old. And it tells us about the in-between time, it just says he increased in wisdom. How can God  increase in wisdom?  I mean how could even Jesus increase in wisdom; he is the wisdom of God. Scripture tells us in 1 Corinthians he’s God’s wisdom, he is the way the truth and the life. How  can he increase in wisdom? I’m going to say what we have to do is grant that he can increase in wisdom  and our question is not whether he does or not, because clearly he does, he cannot know something,  we just have to ask how that works with our understanding of who Jesus is. 

And the answer is just what the church has believed about the incarnation for a very long time. Matthew 4:2 After he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, he then became  hungry. Jesus became hungry because  humans can become hungry. Yet God doesn’t get hungry …but when he took on humanity, the humanness of Christ had a need to eat. The error is in thinking that Jesus  is only human, that that’s all he is, that if he’s human he can’t be God, that he can’t be both. The bible clearly  teaches he’s both.

In scripture there’s times where Jesus seems to know things  supernaturally; he seems to have supernatural knowledge. John 2:24 but Jesus on his part was not entrusting himself to them for he knew all men. So there’s some sort of sense in which he knows all men, he knows their basic nature, he  understands them. There’s a sense in which Jesus knows people that goes beyond the natural. There’s like divine knowledge that’s going on there. John 6:64 Jesus talks about how some of them  don’t believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe and who it was who would betray him.

In John 1:48 we have an interesting example  of him having like sort of supernatural knowledge or awareness of Nathanael. Nathanael comes to meet him and Jesus says “Behold is an Israelite indeed in whom there’s no deceit.” Nathaniel says “how do you know me?” Jesus answered and told him “Before Philip called you when you were under the fig  tree, I saw you. Nathanael just immediately goes “Rabbi, you are the son of God. You’re the king of Israel. This is all the evidence he needs that proved the  identity of Christ to Nathanael that was supernatural knowledge.

In John 16:30 and John 21:17, Philip  and Peter both state that Jesus knows all things all things. So there’s some sense in which Jesus is omniscient but there’s  another sense in which Jesus doesn’t know. It’s the two natures of Christ. He has divine nature, he has human nature.