December 17, 2009

Do We Know What Jesus Knew?

The Internet Monk posted an interesting list of questions about Jesus' knowledge. And it's followed by about thirty pages of comments about what the answers mean to our understanding of the God/man incarnation.

Some of my favorites:
3. Did Jesus miss any questions on the test? Did he have to study?
4. Did Jesus use tools to measure in his carpentry work? Or did he just know what to do?
8. Were Jesus questions real questions? Or were they all rhetorical?
9. If Jesus did not have exhaustive divine knowledge as a human being, does this impact our view of him as God incarnate?
Or, in the words of Relient K's lovely Christmas tune, I Celebrate the Day:
And the first time that you opened your eyes
Did you realize that you would be my savior?
And the first breath that left your lips
Did you know that it would change this world forever
Yet another example where language, story, and theology collide, hinting that the certainty of our formulations might just be more easily said than realized. It is one thing to affirm, in the words of the Athanasian Creed, that Jesus was "fully God, fully man," but what does this mean, practically speaking? That he always won games of chance? That the other kids as he was growing up stopped including him in riddles and jokes because he already knew the punchlines? Or that there is something about the nature of Jesus' omniscience that we haven't fully comprehended?
The faith of the Christian rests on the clear statements of Scripture alone even when we are not able to rationalize them.
The "clear statements," as opposed to the not-so-clear statements that the Bible also contains. There are some things that we just don't know—even if we read the Bible. We can speculate, opine, and argue, but we really don't know, at least in a way that we can articulate with words. As A.W. Tozer said, "Truth lies deeper than the theological statement of it" (That Incredible Christian). And that's OK, for we are known, and loved. And I'll take that over my own knowing any day.

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