Infinite Knowledge, Infinite Love

January 6, 2019

Last Sunday I asked the children if they thought that Jesus already knew as a child what He had come to earth to do.  I asked them, and the adults, to think about that during the week, and then I would speak more about it this Sunday. 

But let’s start with Mary…  In the song “Mary Did You Know”, the lyrics ask “Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?  Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters? Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you…  Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?  Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?  Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God.  Mary did you know?  The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again, the lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb…  Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?  Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?  Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect lamb?  That sleeping child you're holding is the great I am… Mary did you know?”   

Mary knew what Gabriel announced to her before Jesus’ conception, that she would give birth to a son who would be conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that “He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”  (Luke 1:32-33)  Joseph knew from the dream the Lord gave him that Mary would give birth to a divinely conceived son, and he was to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)  And then Simeon, in our second Scripture reading (Luke 2:25-35), told Mary, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”   Here was the first foreshadowing of the sorrow Mary would endure watching her innocent son being executed for our sins.  But at that point, they knew no more than those who studied the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah to come. But did Jesus already know?

In our third Scripture reading (Luke 2:41-50), Jesus is twelve years old, speaking with the adults in the temple.  The Scribes and Pharisees were amazed at his knowledge of the Scriptures, and his wisdom in their interpretation.   Did Jesus know that 21 years later those same Jewish leaders’ hatred of him would gain such intensity that they would have him crucified?   When Mary and Joseph found him and questioned him about his mysterious disappearance for three days, he seemed surprised and asked them, “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”  (vs. 49).  “But they didn’t understand what he meant.” (vs. 50)   And so it appears at this point that although Mary and Joseph were quite aware of who Jesus was and why he had come to earth, Jesus knowledge, even at 12 years of age was already beyond theirs.  Let’s continue…

At the wedding in Cana (see John 2), when the wine ran out, Mary went and told Jesus.  And then, even though Jesus told his mother his time had not yet come, Mary instructed the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do.  So Jesus turned six jars of water, each of which held twenty to thirty gallons, into wine.  What can we surmise from this first miracle of Jesus Christ?  That Mary knew he had the power to do it, and Jesus knew he had the power to do it.  

It was only a few days later that Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the Temple in Jerusalem, angry because they had turned His Father’s house into a marketplace.   When questioned on what authority he acted this way, “Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’”  To which they replied, “’It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?’ But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said.”  (John 2:19-22a)  So here Jesus plainly knew that the temple of his body would be destroyed, and he would rise again after three days.  Jesus then made this prediction in a more forthright manner several more times within the Gospel accounts (see more here:   We also know that as an adult Jesus clearly knew, and acknowledged, that he was the eternal Son of God, who pre-existed his earthly birth, indeed even creation itself.  In John 8:58 He said, "I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am!”  And as you know, the words “I Am” not only speak of his existence before Abraham’s birth, but is also a name for God Himself.  And then in his prayer in John 17, Jesus said, “Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began” (vs. 5).  Yes, even before the world began.  The theological word for Jesus being both fully God and fully human is “hypostatic union”.  (Read more here:  Yes, Jesus clearly understand who He was, and what He was about to do, and why. Jesus always was and always will be filled with both infinite knowledge - and infinite love, for he loved us enough to leave heaven, be born as one of us, die a horrible death to pay for our sins, and rise again to open the gates of heaven for us.

But did He know all of this as a young child?   The only reference to Jesus as a young child in the Bible is the account we already mentioned in the temple when he was 12 years old.  So can I give you an absolute Scriptural based answer?  No.  We don’t know if He knew “all of it”, since the Bible does say immediately after those verses that “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man”.  But we do know that He was aware He was here to do His Father’s will, and that He knew His Father was God.  And, of course, we know that He did accomplish all that He was sent here to do. 

And although Jesus, while in His human body, had greater knowledge than anyone else who ever walked the earth, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit, and himself being God in the flesh, remember that we received the Holy Spirit at the time of our salvation.  So if we truly give Him control of our lives, allow Him to cleanse us of our sinful nature, and are willing to follow His leading, then we also will be able to fulfill the purpose for which we are here.  And have no doubt, God has a purpose for each and every one of us - you included.  Amen.

VIDEO:  "Mary Did You Know"  (Cee Lo Green)