How do those Christians who believe that Jesus is God and equal to God the Father explain out the following verse:

"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36, NIV)

If the Son is God, then He should possess all the absolute qualities pertaining to God, one of which is omniscience, but in this verse we are clearly told that there is something that God the Son, unlike God the Father, doesn't know.


1 Answer 1


You have hit on one of the central wonders of the incarnation of God as a human.

When God the Son took on human form, he voluntarily gave up some of his godly abilities. He specifically renounced much of his powers and knowledge, instead choosing to rely on God the Father. This is shown in other places - for example he does not say "I can summon twelve legions of angels" but "I can ask my father and he will send twelve legions of angels".

Jesus wants to demonstrate for us a life of faith in relationship with the Father. Faith is not possible if you have total and complete knowledge and power (St. Paul writes that), so it is necessary for him to give that up to be the example.

  • +1 (despite the "some " and "much" rather than "all"). Aug 1, 2022 at 13:39
  • Kenosis does not have to mean that the Son of God gave up any of his abilities, and I don't think traditional Catholic or Protestant teachings would say that he did. Rather he frequently acted as if he did not have authority and power in his own right, but instead depended on the Father to provide.
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 1, 2022 at 13:44
  • @curiousdannii - "Rather he frequently acted as if he did not have authority and power in his own right" - Sounds then as if He were lying when saying "Nor does the Son know, but only the Father". Choose not to use your authority is quite different from not knowing. You may not use your authority, but you still know.
    – brilliant
    Aug 1, 2022 at 13:56
  • @brilliant Your question's answer is not really related to kenosis at all, instead it's about the two minds of Christ in the hypostatic union.
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 1, 2022 at 14:45
  • @curiousdannii - True, but it's also true that my question was not specifically about kenosis. The way the question is phrased, kenosis was to be only one of possible answers.
    – brilliant
    Aug 1, 2022 at 15:15

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