Thank you, my dear friend, for your good question. Well, let’s begin by reading the verse to which you make reference, along with the following verse: “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is,” (Mark 13:32,33). Now, as to Christ being fully God as well as fully man, of this there can be no doubt. In Isaiah 7:14, the OT prophesy regarding the Christ indicates that He would be born to a virgin, and that His name would be called “Emmanuel” meaning “God with us” (Matthew 1:22,23). Now, in 1 John 4:2, we read the truth that Jesus is the Christ, who came in the flesh into this world. For other verses which clearly demonstrate that Jesus Christ is true God, you might consider: 1 John 5: 20; John 1:1-3, 10-12, and 14; Colossians 1:13-19; Hebrews 1:1-3.

So, if Jesus Christ is truly God (which He assuredly is), then why would Mark 13 indicate that He would not know the date of His second coming to the earth? I believe that being truly God, Jesus, whether in heaven or on the earth, had all the characteristics (attributes) of the Godhead, including knowing all things. I believe that the answer is a difficult one for man to truly understand, but it has to do with the fact that Christ Jesus, being ever equal with the Father in glory as part of the Godhead, took a more humble position with respect to the Father when He came to earth to save sinners. We read in Philippians 2:6-8: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”. Now, in the J. N. Darby version of the Bible, verse 7 states that “He emptied Himself”. So, when He emptied Himself, does that mean He gave up His deity, or any part of His deity when He came to the earth? I believe it does not. It is my belief that when the Lord Jesus “emptied Himself,” He temporarily chose to be in complete submission to the Father, having taken the form of lowly man; and thus, He chose not to use His full power as God while on the earth. Though He was yet omniscient, knowing all things, He chose not to use that attribute to answer the question, but rather left the matter with the Father totally, and simply pointed His disciples to the signs of the times, and to the Scriptures. Jesus, as the Son of man, simply bade   the children of Israel, and really all men, to be prepared for His coming in power, as this coming will be sudden and should not catch God’s people unawares.

Now, I want to try to give a few examples of how the Lord Jesus, while on the earth, did not use His own power as God to accomplish the Father’s will, but rather took the role of submission to His Father, and never sought to glorify Himself; He did only the Father’s will (John 8:29), and depended on prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the Father’s work. The first example that comes to my mind would be that He came into the world as a human baby, and we read in Luke 2 that he grew up and learned as a human would learn. Clearly, the eternal Son of God would not have to learn anything as He created all things; but to be a true man, and our Great High Priest when back in glory, He must walk where we walk, experiencing what we would commonly experience though without sin (Hebrews 4:15). You’ll note in Mark 1:35 that the Lord Jesus, as a true man, began His day by praying to the Father in heaven.  Prayer is dependence upon God. You see this again in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed to the Father to remove the cup before Him (the cross) but only if it was the Father’s will; since the Father’s will was that He go to the cross and drink that cup fully, Jesus went forward to the cross in full obedience to His Father’s will (Matthew 26:36-46). When hungry in the wilderness, Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread, but he refused and quoted Scripture (Matthew 4:3,4).

So, why was it that Jesus did not tell the disciples when that Great Day of the Lord would come, since I maintain that He surely could know it if He chose to? I believe that Jesus chose not to use His Omniscience to respond to the question with a specific date, because it was not the Father’s will that those on earth know the precise date and time of the second coming. God has revealed in Scripture what man needs to know in order not to be taken by surprise. Now, some Scriptures regarding what we humans can know about the end times might include: Joel 2:31; Zechariah 14:3,4; Malachi 3:1,2; the antichrist: Daniel 9:27; Daniel 7:25; the Great Tribulation: 12:7, 11; Revelation 11:2, 3; 12:14; 13:5. 

But now, what should you and I be thinking about as we see world events whirling toward these things of the end times? We need to be saved from the wrath to come (Acts 17:30,31), and I pray that you are. If so, you need not fear the judgments of the end times nor the judgment at the Great White Throne of Revelation 20.  If you are not sure of your salvation, then I would direct you to Romans 10:9; John 3:16; John 5:24; Ephesians 2:8,9.  May the Lord bless His Word to your heart!  (SF)  (531.4)