Summary: We are told that God knows everything, but what does it mean when Jesus states He does not know when He will return? A closer look reveals this verse to be a source of great encouragement and blessing, not controversy.
Background: Ill: We get quite frustrated as human beings when we hear the following three words, “I don’t know.” “Doctor, will I need surgery?” (I don’t know) “Honey, do you know when you will be home?” (I don’t know) “Boss, am I going to get that raise?” (I don’t know) “Dear, how much did you spend at the grocery store?” (I don’t know)
• It is bad enough that we as human beings seem to forget faster than speedy Gonzales on steroids; and to make matters even
more frustrating, we don’t have a good grasp on what will happen tomorrow. But as Christians, we understand that we are
limited in our knowledge and understanding; but when we read a verse like Mark 13:32, (But of that day or hour no one
knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.) it can pretty hard to grasp the idea that Jesus (Who
is God) may not know everything.
• The writer of the gospel of Mark, Mark, is the only one to attribute these words in the mouth of Jesus. Matthew and Luke
include much of the same information found in chapter 13. The disciples ask Jesus to describe the events leading to the end
of time and His second coming. Jesus give His disciples details about their immediate future (70 AD), a few details about the
anti-Christ, tribulation, and His second return. Jesus emphasis that for those who are watching and waiting, the signs and
time of His coming will be visible. And then Mark includes these words from Jesus that are almost offensive when we first
o Note: 1st, Mark portrays Jesus as “Servant”. 2nd, the offence of this verses seals it’s genuineness. 3rd , the disciples
never call Jesus’ attention to this shocking statement.
• Let me call our attention to the importance of this verse and show this morning that this verse is not controversial at all, but
rather a source of great encouragement and blessing. From this verse, let us remember three warnings/blessings for the
I. Don’t Focus More on the Date than the Sure Event. “But of that day…”
• Jesus uses this whole chapter to reassure the disciples that there is a day coming that is as sure as God’s very word (31).
• This “Day” is both of comfort and hope for the believer and judgment for the lost.
• This “Day” is the 2nd coming of Christ.
• Men who focus more on predicting a time and date put themselves in a position that is above Jesus Himself (very
dangerous). The message of the church is not a specific time, but rather the promise of Jesus’ second coming.
II. Don’t Focus More on the Dilemma than the Submissive Savior. “nor the Son…”
A. This verse proves Jesus’ submission nature.
• Phil. 2:6 – “…(He) did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped…” Jesus did not let “absolute knowledge”
keep Him from submitting to the will of the Father. (Well, I’m not going if I have to give up something)
• John 5:30 – “I can do nothing on My own initiative”
• John 6:38 – “I have come down from heaven not to do my own will, but My Father’s.
• Acts 1:7 – “It is not for you to know times or dates which the Father has fixed by his own authority;”
• Mark 10:40 – “But to sit on My right or on My left is not Mine to give…”
• Mark 10:45 – “For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
• If Jesus had these dates, would it have hindered work on the cross?
B. This verse provides the disciples a successful ministry.
• What if Jesus had told the disciples/you and I a date for His return, don’t you think it would have created some lazy
Christians? Or some disappointed children? The call is to watch, preach, and wait for His return?
C. This verse proofs Jesus does understand you and I. We may be tempted to think, Jesus, at least you know what it going to
happen tomorrow, but I don’t – You don’t understand!
D. Application: Ill: The genius who is challenged to trust in a tight-rope walker as he is pushed across Niagara Falls in a wheel
• The focus is not on Jesus not knowing the date of His return but rather following His example to live as Christians fully
dependent and submission to the Father, despite what we have or don’t have.
III. Don’t Focus More on the Doubt than the Sovereign Father. “but the Father alone.
• This verse has great comfort for the believer. “No man knows the hour” – well, that is ok, because man has a bad track