Was Jesus Omniscient and Omnipotent On Earth?
We find in John 21:17 Peter saying to Christ, “you know all things.” So how are we to understand Jesus saying, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Mark 13:32. Compare with Matthew 24:36. So here we have a problem because Jesus is confessing to not knowing something. And Scripture also says, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Luke 2:52. How do you increase in wisdom when you know all things? And “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8. Was Jesus limited by the human body prepared for Him and had to learn things just as we do? So what did Peter mean? Was He right? Because Jesus did not contradict Him. Or is there some way that Jesus could effectively know anything He needed?
We find the answer in many Scriptures such as John 14:26 “the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things,” Does this mean we could literally know all things? Can the human mind even contain all the infinite knowledge of God? The point to be made here is there is nothing that the Spirit of God could not teach or reveal to us or His Son. The Father knows all things and so Christ could know whatever was required through the power of the Holy Spirit whether it be the thoughts of others or any knowledge that is required according to the will of God.
And it does not stop with the omniscience of the Spirit of God but also His power. In Matthew 12:22-32 we find Jesus casting out a demon. The Pharisees claimed He did it by the power of the devil. But Jesus being fully man said He did it by the Spirit of God. He then informs them that they can speak against the Son of man and be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Why? Because verse 28 says He did this by the power of the Holy Spirit. Remember that Jesus was the Word made flesh and was fully man. The Pharisees were not insulting the Son of man but the Spirit of God by whose power the demon was cast out and hence were blaspheming the Holy Spirit by attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan. In any case, Jesus would not be casting out demons by the power of the Holy Spirit unless He had given up His omnipotence for a time now would He? Jesus said “I can of mine own self do nothing.” John 5:30
Note that Matthew 12:22-32 reveals that the unpardonable sin and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan. Some Trinitarians who do not understand this conclude that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit could be sharing truth on this topic which is clearly not so. But what about Trinitarians? Could they in fact be guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? What if the “Spirit of God” is the “Spirit OF God” just as the Bible states, and not something called “god the holy spirit” which the Bible never says? If the Trinity doctrine is wrong, then the Holy Spirit is really a creation of Satan rather than the Spirit of the Father and Son. And if it is a creation of Satan, who would Trinitarians be attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to? They would inadvertently be attributing the work of the Spirit of God to Satan which is in fact the unpardonable sin! You cannot afford to get this wrong.
“What constitutes the sin against the Holy Ghost? It is willfully attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit.” — (E.G. White, 5T 634.1, 1889)
The Bible reveals a handful of times that the miracles Christ performed while here on earth were done by His Father in heaven. John 11:40-41 indicates it was through His Father that Lazarus was raised. Every great miracle that Jesus did was done in a similar manner by His disciples or Old Testament prophets including walking on water and raising the dead. (Matthew 14:29; John 14:12; Acts 20:9-10; 1 Kings 17:22). This is not a sign they had all power but a sign that God was with them as He was with His Son. After He healed the paralytic man, the crowd, “marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.” Matthew 9:8. Peter explains, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Acts 10:38. Jesus also explains, “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” John 14:10
“All the miracles of Christ performed for the afflicted and suffering were, by the power of God, through the ministration of angels.” — (E.G. White, RH, Jan 21, 1873)
So Scripture reveals that Christ only knew what He had learned as a man and what His Father revealed to Him through His Spirit. Since our Father in Heaven knows all things, then Christ could also effectively know all things “if” the Spirit of God revealed it to Him. Thus if Jesus did not know the hour of His return it could only be because His Father had not revealed this to Him, and we are not told the reason why this was the case. Scripture shows that Jesus knew the thoughts of others but to be consistent with other Scripture, it had to be through the Holy Spirit. Peter, Elisha and Daniel all had the thoughts of others revealed to them by God also. (Acts 5:1-4; 2 Kings 5:25-27; Daniel 2:28-30)
Some will respond that Jesus did not know in His human nature but knew in His divine nature as the trinity teaches that there is one person subsisting in two natures. Jesus cannot have two minds, one that knew something and another that did not. Unless of course you want to make the absurd claim that mind and body are not correlated.
Why is it so hard to accept and understand that the disciples and many others have done all the same miracles that Jesus did by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:9), and so when Jesus came as a man that He did them the same way? It seems most refuse to accept that their Lord and Saviour gave up a lot when he came as a man, and cannot stand the thought that for a while He was not omnipresent, omniscience and omnipotent. Though most accept Christ gave up His omnipresence, but only because they have no choice as there is no avoiding this fact. However, how many have stopped to consider the incredible love of their Saviour here in that temporarily laying aside these things made an even far greater sacrifice that could have been disastrous in cosmic proportions. Jesus even had to give up His dignity and have dirty diapers changed! By accepting the facts of Scripture, one does not have to go looking for ways of explaining away other Scriptures that show one is in error. We need to be able to harmonize all Scripture and realize that when we have to start trying to jam a square peg into a round hole then we have something wrong.
Paul in Philippians 2:5-9 speaks of the sacrifice and humility of Christ in regards to what He gave up coming as a man, even to the point of death, and that we should have the same mind and attitude as Him. The Greek text says He had the form or nature of God but emptied Himself, meaning He laid aside those divine attributes that prevented Him from living and dying as one of us. In having the same form and nature of God, He would never have been tired or suffered pain and other things that go with being in human form. Jesus had everything including immortality, and yet He willingly gave it up sacrificing all for us. But then He made an even greater sacrifice, giving up immortality, He died as a man by one of the most agonizing and drawn out deaths you could possibly imagine. When people refuse to acknowledge what Christ did give up, they also fail to acknowledge the magnitude and the depth of the sacrifice He really did make for us and how it demonstrates the immeasurable love that He and His Father have for us.
So what did Jesus get back when He returned to the Father? The fact is we are not specifically told. But we know He got back His omnipresence through the Holy Spirit as our Comforter. For example, Jesus said “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20. We also know that Jesus retained the scars in His hands, feet and side (John 20:25-27). We assume He got back everything but we will have to wait until we see Him to find out just how great a sacrifice He and His Father really made in their incredible love for us.
Here is one more example to consider that many have overlooked. Revelation 1:1 states, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:” This revelation was given to Jesus Christ by God. Why would Christ need His Father to reveal these things to Him if He knew all things?