Lahat ay alam ng Dios. God knows everything. Kung Dios si Cristo, bakit hindi niya alam ang araw at oras ng kanyang pagbabalik? Ang katanungang ito ang bumabagabag sa maraming nagaaral ng Biblia na naniniwala na si Cristo ay tunay na Dios.
Hanguin natin ang ilang talata mula sa Mateo 24 (NKJV).
“And Jesus said to them, ’Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (v.2)
“ Now as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ’Tell us, when will these be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (v.3)
“But of that day and hour no one knows not even the angels of *heaven, but My Father only.” (v.36)
Malasin ninyo ang asterisk bago ang katagang heaven. Sabi sa footnote 24:36 NU adds nor the Son. Ang paliwanag ukol sa markang NU ay “the most prominent modern Critical Text of the Greek New Testament, published in the twenty sixth edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament and in the third edition of the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament.”
Dahil sa premise na nagsasabi na alam ng Panginoong Dios ang lahat, at si Cristo pa mismo ang nagsabing “ang Ama lamang ang nakakaalam” ang araw at oras ang destruction of the city of Jerusalem and His second coming, matindi ang problemang dulot ng paksang ito.
Based on my reflections on the problem may I suggest several inter-connected approaches to help understand this complex issue.
Firstly, let’s assure ourselves that our Lord Jesus knows everything as you can read in the following passages: John 2:25; John 3:35; John 5:19-20; John 8:19; John 13:3; John 16:15; John 16:30; John 18:4; John 21:17; Colossians 2:2-3; and Matt. 9:4.
Secondly, understand and appreciate the style of our Lord in giving his retorts. Ang tawag natin kung minsan sa ganitong abilidad ay “pilosopong gulpe de gulat.” Our Lord’s retorts, just like his parables, is a style of teaching. Our Lord Jesus often goes into extremes and jolts his listeners to put the burden of analysis upon the audience or disciples. Like when He said, “Let the dead bury their dead.” “If any man comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” “Go sell all that you have and give it the poor and come follow me.” “It is easier for a camel to pass through a needles’ eye than a rich man to enter life.” “Unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man you don’t life in yourselves.” And many more.
I suggest that Matt. 24:36 is a jolt to put the burden on the audience.
Thirdly, a secret by its very nature must remain a secret and so an evasive answer should be resorted to which the audience understands through the tone of the speaker’s voice. For example a pupil during an examination asks for some clues from the teacher/proctor, but the teacher usually would say, “I don’t know.” It doesn’t mean that the teacher doesn’t have knowledge about the subject matter but that, in the first place, the pupil should not be asking questions during examination periods.
Fourthly, salvation from sin is an urgent matter and our Lord wanted the disciples to possess that urgency of preaching the good news as well as watchfulness for an imminent coming so keeping the day and hour of His second coming should be a top secret to attain that sense of urgency and preparedness.
Fifthly, Christ has declared his humanity in John 8:40 and so we must recognize that he would speak as a man or invoke his humanity sometimes. We should not demand that in all situations his Deity or divine ability comes out. That is the essence of Philippians 2:5-8 about His emptying. If we asked the question based on Matt. 24:36, “If Christ is God why does He not know his second coming?” To be consistent, based on John 8:40 we should also ask, “If Christ is God why is He a man?” But the consistent position is this: Christ is God and Christ is also man.
Or when Christ is described as thirsty, sleeping, growing, increasing in knowledge, walking, crying, these are human attributes. Therefore, it is possible that to evade the question about his second coming, he invoked his humanity in Matt. 24:36.
There are times that our Lord’s deity is clearly expressed like in John 17:5 where He says “he had glory with the Father before the world was created,” yet we never ask, “If Jesus is man, why did He possess glory beside the Father before the world was created?” We also read that Christ created all things visible and invisible, why don’t we ever ask, “If Christ is man, why do we say that he created the first man Adam?” We believe that Christ is one and equal with the Father, yet we never ask, “If Christ is man why is He one and equal with the Father?” We don’t ask these questions because we recognize the exercise of His divinity.
In conclusion, there are times that we should recognize the humanity of Jesus as acting or speaking but it doesn’t mean that His divinity is disregarded. In the same way we also recognize some of the time his deity as acting or speaking but it doesn’t mean that we should disregard his humanity. #-E.Tanicala