“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ahses.” (Matthew 11:21)
One of the poignant elements of this very intriguing verse is that it reveals that Jesus knows what these cities WOULD have done under certain circumstances. This demonstrates to us something of what it means when we say that He is “omniscient”, or all-knowing.
We see something of the range of Jesus’ knowledge demonstrated in the gospels:
— He knows what WAS: In John 8, when He was asked how He could have known Abraham when He was not yet 50 years old, Jesus told the Pharisees: “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham came into being, I AM.”
— He knows what WILL be: In Luke 22, Jesus told His disciples to enter Jerusalem, and there they would see a man carrying a pitcher of water. The house that the man entered would be the one where they would eat the Last Supper. It happened just as Jesus foretold.
— He even knows our THOUGHTS: When some of the scribes murmurred against Jesus, Matthew 9:4 says: “Jesus knowing their thoughts” responded to them.
— The present passage also asserts that Jesus knows what MIGHT have been: IF those miracles had occurred in Tyre & Sidon, Jesus knows they would have repented. He not only knows everything that is happening, even in hearts, but also what might or could possibly happen!
Scripture indicates that Jesus has a complete range of knowledge: from past, to present, to future, to even what might or could have been. This is what theologians mean when they say that God is omniscient: He knows EVERYTHING!
But this is not just an abstract theological concept. The personal application is that He knows all of these things about US:
— He knows what WAS in our lives — yet He loves us, and died to save us from our past.
— He knows what IS in our lives right now. We aren’t hiding anything from Him; we need to repent and respect His holiness.
–He knows what WILL be, so we can confidently follow His leadership into what is to us an unknown future.
— and He knows what MIGHT have been, so we should trust Him with our regret and second-guessing.
We do not know nearly as much about Jesus as He knows about us. But everything we do know about Him should lead us to trust Him. He is Our Omniscient Lord.