March 20, 2009
One reason to admire and trust Jesus above all other persons is that he knows more than anyone else. He knows all people thoroughly, their hearts and their thoughts. "He knew all men" (John 2:24). "You, Lord, . . . know the hearts of all men" (Acts 1:24). "And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, 'Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?'" (Matthew 9:4). There is no one who perplexes Jesus. No thought or action is unintelligible to him. He knows its origin and end. The most convoluted psychotic and the most abstruse genius are open and laid bare to his understanding. He understands every motion of their minds.
Jesus not only knows all people thoroughly as they were and are today, he also knows what people will think and do tomorrow. He knows all things that will come to pass. "Jesus, [knew] all the things that were coming upon Him" (John 18:4). On the basis of this knowledge, he foretold numerous things that his friends and enemies would do. "[Jesus said] 'There are some of you who do not believe.' For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him" (John 6:64). "From now on," he said, "I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am" (John 13:19). The reason he foretold these things, he explains, is so that we might know that "he is" - is what? That he is the divine Son of God. "I am" is the name for God in Exodus 3:14 and the designation of deity in Isaiah 43:10. Jesus knows all that will come to pass, and, to help our faith, he says, "Behold, I have told you in advance" (Matthew 24:25).
Jesus simply knows all things. Thus his disciples said, truly, "Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God" (John 16:30). The extent of Jesus' knowledge was a compelling warrant for faith in his divine origin. At the end of his time on earth Jesus pressed Peter, "'Simon, son of John, do you love Me?' Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, 'Do you love Me?' And he said to Him, 'Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You' (John 21:17). Peter did not conclude from Jesus' knowledge of his heart that he knew all things; rather he concluded from the omniscience of Jesus that he knew his heart. "You know all things," is a general and unqualified statement that John's gospel presses on our minds.