What Did Jesus Know (and when did He Know It)?

John makes two interesting comments about the extent of Christ’s knowledge in John 6.60-71.

“But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?” (John 6:61, ESV)

“But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)” (John 6:64, ESV)

These are remarkable statements and quite outlandish.  Of course the question becomes, are they true statements about Christ’s knowledge?  The disciples, who were most intimately connected to Christ and positioned to know him the best were quite consistent in their comments about Christ’s knowledge.  Some points they make:

  • He knew what the disciples were discussing behind his back (Mark 8.17)
  • He knew the hypocrisy of the Herodians who tried to trap him in an argument (Mark 12.15)
  • He knew what was in man (John 2.25)
  • He knew all about the woman at the well (John 4.39)
  • He knew that his opponents did not have the love of God in them (John 5.42)
  • He knew who would betray him (John 13.11)
  • He knew from the beginning who would believe (John 6.64)

We can only conclude from all this that Christ had knowledge that was beyond this world.  A mortal man does not know the thoughts of another person, or facts about their life upon their first meeting, or their wicked plans (Judas), or what they are discussing out of his hearing.

This is the knowledge of a being who—as the disciples themselves recognized—knows all things.

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