Was Jesus Ignorant?
Some claim the Bible reveals that Jesus did not possess superior knowledge. As “proof,” these skeptics refer to such passages as Mark 5:25-34 and Matthew 26:39. In Mark 5, it is recorded that after Jesus’ garment had been touched, He asked the crowd, “Who touched my garments?” (5:30). In Matthew 26, Jesus, praying to the Father, said, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me” (26:39). Do such statements reveal ignorance on the part of Jesus? Was His knowledge no greater than yours and mine? What is the truth of the matter?
First, for critics to make such a claim about Mark 5:30, they must assume that all questions are asked solely for the purpose of obtaining information. However, common sense should tell us that questions often are asked for other reasons. Jesus did not ask this question to acquire information. Rather, He asked it so that the woman with the issue of blood would “step forward” and confess to having been healed. In so doing, her deep faith and the greatness of the miracle would be manifested to glorify God. It is outlandish to take this question and claim that Jesus did not know who touched Him. Are we to assume that God was ignorant of Adam’s whereabouts when he asked him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). In the beginning of God’s first speech to Job, God asked the patriarch, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” (38:4). Are we to believe that God did not know where Job was when He created the world? Certainly not! What father, having seen his son break a windowpane, has not asked him, “Who did that?” Obviously, the father did not ask the question to obtain information, but to see if the son would admit to something the father knew all along. On occasion, Jesus used questions for the same purpose. In no way is this some indication of His being less than divine.
Critics also jump to conclusions when they claim that the “ignorance of Jesus is very important, because without ignorance He could not sincerely pray in the Garden of Gethsemane that the cup of suffering pass from Him” (cf. Matthew 26:39). They fail to recognize that Jesus is not only 100% divine (John 1:1-5,14;10:30), but also was 100% human while upon the Earth (Philippians 2:7-8). Oftentimes we get the idea that the suffering Jesus endured was not all that painful because He was God—but Jesus also was a man. When praying in the garden, He knew that within a few short hours He would be mocked, spit upon, struck with the palms of hands, scourged, crowned with thorns, and nailed to a cross. However, this knowledge did not make his suffering any easier. Jesus could (and did) sincerely pray, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me.” This statement intimates no more than that Jesus was really and truly a man, and as a man He could not but be averse to pain and suffering. The law of self-preservation exists in the innocent nature of man, and no doubt existed in Christ. He did not desire a violent death at the hands of angry Jews, but He was willing to endure it to save mankind from the depths of hell. To lift such passages as Matthew 26:39 and Mark 5:30 from the Bible and claim that Jesus did not possess superior knowledge is a gross misuse of Scripture. Such allegations are false to the core, yet, sadly, they are typical of the kind of devices skeptics use to try and strip Jesus of His deity.
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