Christ’s Confession of Ignorance?

One of the challenges of the student of Christology is to explain the statement of Christ in Mark 13:32, where He confesses that He does not know the day of His own coming. He asserts that the Father alone knows the day. Donald MacLeod explains that this statement is due to Christ’s subjection of Himself to the limitations of a human mind in the incarnation. He also helpfully makes a distinction between omniscience and supernatural knowledge, the latter being the kind of knowledge that the prophets had by divine revelation. Christ too, MacLeod argues, had to submit to this kind of supernatural knowledge due to His becoming a man and laid aside the exercise of His omniscience in some way. (I confess that I don’t understand how an omniscient One could lay aside His omniscience.) HCG Moule argues that Christ’s supernatural knowledge was vast, and that Mark 13:32 testifies to its vastness. Jesus declared something that He was unaware of, but He also declared that the angels of heaven were unaware of it and that the Father did indeed know. To declare that even the angels of heaven do not know something is, in the words of Moule, “an implicit assertion of an immeasurable insight.” (To My Younger Brethren, p. 51) Thus Christ’s statement of ignorance is coupled with a statement of remarkable supernatural knowledge, which seems to me to far exceed the prophetic average, if there is such a thing. In addition, Jesus knew the attendant circumstances of the day, as is evident from the passage, as well as the Father’s knowledge of the day. He just did not know the timing.

If those who seek to undermine the deity of Jesus attempt to use this passage, let them explain how Jesus could know what knowledge is withheld from the angels of heaven and how He could know what the Father knows exclusively.

For those who seek to worship Jesus, recognize Him for who He is, the Theanthropic Christ, whose humanity and deity is remarkably united in a glorious and mysterious way.

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