When Jesus said he didn’t know the day or hour of his return, was he speaking in hyperbole?


In Mark 13:32, it says that "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." During our Bible study, somebody said that Jesus really does not know the day of His return. Is this true? Can we take this statement literally?

For me, this should not be taken literally but as figurative language such as hyperbole. This was used to emphasize that no man really know that day of His return. What is your stand on this? And what other explanations can be given?


For something to be hyperbole, it has to exaggerate an idea beyond what is possible to understand in the real world. For example, "So he said to his brothers, "My money has been restored, and there it is, in my sack!" Then their hearts failed them and they were afraid, saying to one another, "What is this that God has done to us?" " (Genesis 42:28). "Their hearts failed them" is hyperbole because they didn't die of heart attacks, though it probably felt that way. They continued to live and speak, so we know it was an exaggeration to make a point.

Mark 13:32 is not an exaggeration, but a statement of fact. The point Jesus is making is that no one knows when he will return because that event is not knowable. God the Father has not decided when it will take place and until He does decide, it cannot be guessed, let alone known by anyone.

This is one of the verses which show that while Jesus is God, God is made up of three divine beings. There is something that the Son cannot know until the Father makes a decision; thus, they are separate beings.

People who believe in predestination have a hard time with this idea. They take the fact that God knows all things and stretch it beyond its meaning. They assume that nothing is not knowable, even though the Bible says otherwise. For example, when Abraham offered up Isaac, God said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me" (Genesis 22:18). That little word "now" makes a huge statement. Until Abraham decided to go through with the sacrifice, whether he would or not was not knowable. It only became known when Abraham raised the knife and God didn't know the outcome until that point because it could not be known beforehand.

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