Nobody Knows the Hour

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.”

Matthew 24:36

Throughout Matthew 24, Jesus was talking about the future, the time when God would renew heaven and earth. The precise time of this renewal was unknown, even to Jesus. “Only the Father knows,” he said.

Jesus’ admission that he did not know the exact time of some future events has perplexed many Christians throughout the ages. Some ancient copyists of the biblical manuscripts even took out the phrase “or the Son himself” because they believed it had been erroneously entered into the text of Matthew. But, in fact, the most reliable ancient texts include this phrase. There’s little doubt that Jesus did not know exactly when he would return as the victorious Son of Man. This means that Jesus, though fully God and fully human, did not know all things. Omniscience was part of what he gave up in his Incarnation. As it says in Philippians 2:6-7:

Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When you think of Jesus, do you imagine him as knowing all things? What difference does it make that Jesus did not know the time of his return? Is his lack of omniscience unsettling to you? Is it encouraging?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, how grateful I am for your admission that you did not know the time of your own return. The fact that you did not know everything makes your Incarnation so much more real to me. It makes you more real to me as a human being, one who was truly born, who truly suffered, and who truly bore my sin on the cross.

How I praise you, gracious Lord, for your willingness to become human. You gave up your divine privileges so that we might know God and so that we might be restored in our relationship with God. What a gift you have given! And at what great cost! All praise be to you, Lord Jesus Christ, fully God and fully human. Amen.