Matthew 24:36 (Not Equality, But Oneness)

In contrast to the signs Jesus has provided His disciples that would indicate the establishment of His kingdom and judgment upon His enemies was near and as certain as summer following the signs of spring, Jesus has also warned that of that specific day or hour no one knows, not even He Himself, but only the Father; Mat 24:36.  What does this teach us about differences that exist within the Godhead?  I.e., although we understand that Jesus is divine, being of the same nature or substance as the Father (cf. Joh 1:1), are we to understand that He is actually the same as the Father—perhaps just a different form of the Father as in modalism that some taught in the early church?  Cf. Mat 3:16-17, 17:5, Joh 12:28, Act 7:55-56.  Are we to understand that the Son not knowing the specific day or hour was limited only to His incarnation as a man and His time on earth when He emptied Himself of His divine privileges (Phil 2:7)?  While this is possible, notice that Jesus’ words “except the Father alone” most naturally seem to exclude this, since He could just as easily have said something like “except God in heaven alone”.  Notice too that after saying “no one knows”, He is careful to explain using a lesser-to-the-greater construction that it isn’t just those on earth who don’t know, for not even the angels of heaven nor the Son know, but only the Father.

Are we then to necessarily believe that Jesus as the Son of God is exactly equal to the Father in His divine attributes?  Rather than exercising His divine privileges to have equality with God the Father, what does Scripture teach is the hallmark of the Son’s divine nature?  See Psa 40:6-8, Mat 26:39,42,44, Joh 4:34, 5:30, 6:38, 8:29, 14:31, 15:10.  Because Jesus clearly made Himself out to be equal to God (Joh 5:18) and both the Father and the Son are therefore of the same divine nature many suppose that there is equality within the Godhead; however, did Jesus ever say that He was equal to the Father?  Cf. Joh 14:28, 1Co 15:24-28.  What did He say about His relationship to the Father?  See Joh 10:30; cf. Deut 6:4.  From the example of the Son, what are we to understand is the essential component of Christ’s oneness with the Father?  Was it by seeking equality in the exercise of His divine rights, or by submitting Himself to the Father, delighting to do His will, and trusting in His love?

What does Christ’s example teach us about how oneness is to be achieved in the Church?  See Joh 17:11,20-21, Phil 2:1-8.  What does His example teach us about how we are to become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world by lust (2Pe 1:3-4)?  What does Christ’s example also teach us about how oneness is to be achieved in a marriage relationship?  Is it to be found by the wife seeking equality with her husband in the exercise of her rights because she is of the same nature, or is it to be found in the divine nature of Christ by submitting herself to her husband according to the will of her heavenly Father, entrusting herself to the great love of Him from whom all blessings flow, just as Christ did?  See Eph 5:22-24, Col 3:18, 1Pe 3:1-2.  In light of this understanding, is it surprising that commensurate with the women’s liberation movement that has sought equality with men there has also been a corresponding lack of oneness in marriages as evidenced by the increase of divorce?

Considering that the divine nature of Christ submitting Himself to the will of the Father is typified by the traditional role of a godly wife in the home; what does Christ’s example teach us about how important her role is for the blessed oneness people seek in a marriage relationship?  What does Christ’s glorification for His humility and submission to the will of the Father teach us about the way that women are to find the glory they seek from their husbands and in the world?  Is it by seeking equality with them in the exercise of their rights?  Or is it by reflecting the divine nature of Christ and humbly submitting their will to his?  See Phil 2:9-11; cf. Pro 31:10, 28-31.  What does this also remind us about the essential ministry that older women have to pass on these important truths to younger women, especially in this present age where nearly everything tells them the exact opposite ?  See Tit 2:3-5.  What Christian ordinance, largely ignored today though practiced for over 1900 years of Church history, was a visual reminder to the Church whenever it would meet of the hidden glory to be found in humility and submission that is at the very heart of the Christian gospel?  See 1Co 11:1-16.  See also our previous study on the Matthew 24:1-2 (The Hidden Glories of God’s Temple), especially the last paragraph.

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