At times – according to the Gospel narratives – Jesus showed evidence of extraordinary knowledge. This included knowledge of what others were thinking (e.g., Mark 2:6-8; Mark 11:2; John 1:48-49). But such knowledge is not necessarily evidence of our Lord’s divinity, since at other times he displays ignorance. And this combination of extraordinary knowledge about some things and ignorance about others also characterised the prophets of the Old Testament.
According to Raymond E. Brown, this limitation does nothing to diminish our admiration for Jesus Christ, for it shows ‘what depths divine condescension went in the incarnation–it would show just how human was the humanity of Jesus.’
The great objection to such a confession of Jesus’ limited knowledge would be that in Christ there is just one person. How could the same person, as divine, be omniscient, and, as human, not be omniscient? Brown offers the answer given by Cyril of Alexandria (‘that ultra-orthodox archfoe of Nestorianism’):-
We have admired his goodness in that for love of us he has not refused to descend to such a low position as to bear all that belongs to our nature, INCLUDED IN WHICH IS IGNORANCE.
He is a Jesus far from mankind that can only hope in the future and believe in God’s goodness, far from a mankind that must face the supreme uncertainty of death with faith but without knowledge of what is beyond.
On the other hand, a Jesus for whom the future was as such a mystery, a dread, and a hope as it is for us and yet, at the same time a Jesus who would say, “Not my will but yours”–this is a Jesus who could effectively teach us how to live, for this is a Jesus who would have gone through life’s real trials.
Then we would know the full truth of the saying: “No man can have greater love than this: to lay down his life for those he loves” (Jn 15:13), for we would know that he laid down his life with all the agony with which we lay it down.
We would know that for him the loss of life was, as it is for us, the loss of a great possession, a possession that is outranked only by love.
Based on this post by Peter Enns