Q: #294. If Jesus is God, why didn't He "know the day or hour of His return?"
By: Steve Shirley
A: The verse you are referring to is found in (Mk 13:32) which says, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father" (Also see: Mt 24:36). So, why didn't Jesus know this if He was God?
First off, let me state emphatically that the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus IS God, and ALWAYS has been God. I am not going to go into the numerous proofs for this in this study, but I do so here. When Jesus became man and was on the Earth, He never stopped being God. He was FULLY God and FULLY man (sometimes called the "hypostatic union"). However, while He was on the Earth, the Bible says that Jesus voluntarily veiled some of His divine attributes (Phil 2:5-8)(2 Cor 8:9)(Jn 17:4-5). In doing so, He faced many of the same challenges and limitations that all humans face. For example, He got hungry (Mt 4:2), He got thirsty (Jn 19:28-30)(Jn 4:7), He got tired (Mt 8:24)(Jn 4:6), He was tempted (Mt 4:1-11)(Heb 4:15)(Heb 2:28) (but without sin 2 Cor 5:21, 1 Pet 2:22, 1 Jn 3:5), and He eventually died (Mt 27:50)(Mk 15:37).
These limitations also applied to His omniscience (all-knowing)(Lk 2:52: "Jesus increased in wisdom"), His omnipotence (all-powerful), and obviously, His omnipresence (ability to be everywhere at once). (Heb 2:9) says "He was made a little lower than the angels." In short, as a man, Jesus had (voluntary) limitations.
While on the Earth, there is a continual pattern of Jesus showing His dependence on the Father (Jn 4:31-34, 5:19-20,30, 6:38, 7:16-17, 8:26-29, 12:49-50, 14:10,31, 15:10,15, 16:32, 17:8). Jesus attributed His casting out of demons to the power of the Holy Spirit (Mt 12:28)(Lk 11:20). He moved in the power of the Holy Spirit (Lk 4:14). He preached in the power of the Holy Spirit (Lk 4:18). He healed by the "power of the Lord" (Lk 5:17) and because "God was with Him" (Acts 10:38). In other words, almost everything (or perhaps everything: there is a debate on this) that Jesus did was not of His own power, but done through the power of the Father and Holy Spirit.
In about half of the above verses in John (Jn 7:16-17)(Jn 8:26,28)(Jn 12:49-50)(Jn 14:10)(Jn 15:15)(Jn 17:8), Jesus said that He taught what the Father revealed to Him. I believe that this, in conjunction with what I have already said, is directly related to your question. Because Jesus voluntarily veiled some of His divine attributes while on the Earth (therefore having limitations, including His power), He trusted in and worked through the power of the Father and Holy Spirit. A part of this appears to involve receiving revelation from the Father. This being the case, I believe that the reason Jesus did not know the "day or hour" of His return is almost certainly because this was not something that the Father revealed to Jesus while He was in His humanity.
Now, of course, without the limitations that were a part of His humanity, Jesus DOES know the "day and hour" of His return, because He is God, and God is omniscient (all-knowing) (Ps 139:1-6)(1 Jn 3:20)(Ezek 11:5)(Isa 42:9)(Ps 147:4-5)(1 Cor 2:10-13).