I'm sure we can all relate to a time when we anticipated an event or occasion, but we weren't sure of the exact date it would happen. Like an engagement proposal, baby delivery date, or promotion at work. I remember how eager I was for our engagement. My husband and I had been looking for rings, so in my mind, I pictured it happening within that month. A month went by, then two. I asked myself, “when is this going to happen?" As time went by, my excitement started to diminish. I had been waiting, for what seemed like a long time, when it happened. It took me by surprise. We had a vacation planned but I didn't imagine that my husband was waiting for that trip to propose. Even to the very second, when we were standing in front of a waterfall in Ohio, I still had no clue until he got on his knee. It was unexpected. We spend a lifetime anticipating certain events, but are we putting as much emphasis on Christ's return? Just because we don’t know when it will be, doesn't mean we should lose our focus and awe. We tend to lose it when life events don’t unfold the way we expect them to. We don’t know the day and hour of His return, but we should be living each day with our eyes fixed on Christ. Which leads me to the WVW, verse.
Matthew 24:36 says, "But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, NOR THE SON, but the Father only."
HOW CAN JESUS, WHO IS FULLY GOD, NOT HAVE KNOWN?
Many who read this passage are left with questions. How is it that Christ, who is God incarnate, doesn't know His return? Isn’t God omniscient? There may be a tendency to focus on Jesus as our High Priest, our Savior, our Redeemer, God the Son, that we may disregard His human nature. We have to look at His humanity to begin to understand this verse. Scripture tells us that Jesus is fully God (John 1:1) and yet fully man (John 1:14). He was born of a virgin (Matt 1:23) in Bethlehem (Luke 2:11). Jesus has a human body in the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom. 8:3) and a soul that felt sorrow (Matt. 26:38). He humbled Himself and came in the likeness of men (Phil.2:5-11). In Hebrews 2:9 we read that for a little while He was made lower than angels. In Scripture, He manifested human intellect and emotions.
As fully man, He has all the natural limitations we do. His human nature is limited in knowledge, although without sin- He was tempted like we are (Heb 4:15), felt hunger (Matt 4:2), grew weary (John 4:6), slept (Matt 8:24), prayed (Matt 26:36), and increased in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52). Jesus lived as a human being experiencing the things that we experience, therefore being able to sympathize with our weaknesses. The God-man voluntarily restricted the use of His divine attributes. Not that He set His deity and attributes aside, but that He simply restricted the use of those things. Scripture also tells us that He chose when to use His divine nature, namely, His omniscience. In John 2:25, we read that Jesus didn’t need anyone to bear witness about a man because He already knew his heart. Jesus submitted to the will of His Father. This includes what the Father wanted Him to say, do, and know. This is part of the design of incarnation. In other words, Jesus limited His knowledge to what His Father chose to reveal to Him.
THE URGENCY OF THE GOSPEL
Not knowing Christ's return should create urgency in our hearts to share the gospel. As we read Matthew 24:36, we are reminded that the coming of Christ is unknown to us. As Christians, we should be living our days for His glory and in obedience to His commands. The fulfillment of His commandments are this- love your God with all your heart, soul, and mind (Matt 22:37-39), and love your neighbor as yourself (Rom. 13:8-10, Gal. 5:14). So how can we show love to our neighbor? One way is by sharing the gospel. If you're reading this and asking yourself, “what is the gospel?” I want to first point out that Jesus’ human nature is good news to us all. He came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim. 1:15).
We are born sinners (Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3), enemies of God (Rom. 5:10), and incapable of obeying the commands of a Holy God due to our fallen nature. And because God is Holy, He can't ignore our sin. We will stand before Him one day and give an account for everything we said, did, and thought, and we will be judged (Ecc. 3:17, 2 Cor. 5:10, Rom. 14:10-12). We will be found guilty of sin and we will receive eternal punishment (Matt 10:28, Matt 8:12). There is no way to escape the wrath of God. But God so loved the world that He sent His only son to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16, Rom. 5:8). Jesus came to fulfill the law (Matt. 5:17) and lived a sinless life in obedience to God (1 Pet. 2:22). He did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. He lived a sinless life, died for the sins of those who would believe in Him, and rose on the third day conquering death and raising for our justification. If you put your trust in Christ and repent of your sins, God is faithful to forgive. Jesus Christ is our only redeemer (Acts 4:12). He is our good news. Our Savior had to be God and man. He needed to become a man to be the propitiation for our sins (Heb. 2:15-17). A normal human, being finite, can’t do anything for sinners. But a divine person with human nature can save the world.
Dingers, this Weird Verse Wednesday article was written by our friend Zee from WWW.NARROWISTHEGATE.NET. If you enjoyed her writing, you can also find her at NARROW.IS.THE.GATE on Instagram and read her other blog posts on her website.