Yet the Gospels clearly reveal that Jesus had knowledge of the past, present and future in a way that was far beyond what any ordinary man would have. However, these remarkable abilities were not something that He had inherently. They were given to Him by the Father. As Jesus clearly said, "I can of Myself do nothing" (John 5:30)—that is, nothing supernatural on His own. We will explore this idea more when we discuss the works of Jesus.
What are some of the ways Jesus had knowledge beyond normal human abilities? We first see this when, at the age of 12, He showed understanding far beyond His age in His discussions with the teachers at the temple (Luke 2:46-47).
He knew the thoughts of both His friends (Luke 9:47) and His enemies (Matthew 9:4). He knew the Samaritan woman had five husbands and at the time was living with a man to whom she was not married (John 4:18). He knew that Lazarus had died from his illness even though He and the disciples were miles away (John 11:1, 11-14).
He knew which disciple would betray Him long before Judas had made the decision to turn Jesus over to those who wanted to kill Him (John 6:70-71). He told Peter that he would deny Him three times on the night He was arrested and that a rooster would crow after the third denial (Luke 22:34).
At the same time, He did not know everything. There was knowledge that He did not have and therefore asked to find out. He inquired from the father of the child who had the mute spirit, "How long has this been happening to him?" (Mark 9:21). When Jesus gave the amazing prophecies about the end of the age and His return, He acknowledged that He did not know the exact time of His coming. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" (Mark 13:32).
Jesus here is relying on the Father to present Him with the time of His return. This helps us to understand that the Father also gave Him the understanding of the hearts of men, prophetic events and other information that He wasn't told.
Jesus constantly depended on God the Father for guidance on what to do, what to say and how to answer, for insight into the hearts of men and for anything else the Father might see fit to give to Him. He relied on God the Father for help to obey, to have power over demonic spirits and to have strength to resist and overcome temptation.
Sometimes He prayed for long periods (Luke 5:16; Mark 1:35). Before choosing the 12 apostles He prayed all night (Luke 6:12-16). On the night before His crucifixion, He prayed repeatedly in the Garden of Gethsemane and the Father sent an angel to strengthen Him during this terrible ordeal (Luke 22:41-44).
Hebrews 5:7 tells us, "In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission" (NRSV). As a human being, Jesus trusted the Father completely for the strength He needed to prevail against the forces that worked so fervently against Him.
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