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Ambrosiaster Q&A on Colossians

(Colossians 2:3)


QUESTION 62. IF "ALL THE TREASURES OF KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM ARE HIDDEN IN JESUS CHRIST," HOW CAN THE SAME SAVIOR SAY THAT HE KNOWS NEITHER THE DAY NOR THE HOUR OF THE FUTURE JUDGMENT? (MARK 13:32) IF HE KNOWS IT AND SAYS HE DOES NOT KNOW IT, IS IT NOT A LIE? — These words contain a twofold meaning. The Apostle first wants to say that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Jesus Christ, in the sense that he who has Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, takes his place from all wisdom and all knowledge. That is to say, that to know Jesus Christ is to know everything, and to understand all wisdom, as St. Paul says to the Colossians: "Beware lest any man deceive you by philosophy and by vain subtleties according to the principles of a worldly knowledge and not according to Jesus Christ, for all the fullness of divinity dwells in him bodily. (Col. 2:8) That is to say, he who believes in Jesus Christ far from wanting nothing for salvation, has all in abundance, because his faith is for the fullness of the deity. He adds again in the same Epistle: "Let no one deceive you by pretending to be humble, by a superstitious worship of angels, by taking pride in what he sees, vainly inflated by his carnal prudence, and not a chief whose whole body, supported by his bonds and his joints, maintains and grows with the growth of God. (Ibid. 18, 19) If, therefore, believing in Jesus Christ, Christians worship him as the head of all principality and power, they need no other thing, they have all that is necessary to be saved, and ignorance of things useless to salvation will be of no danger to them, because they know what is necessary. We can therefore say of those Christians who know what is useful to the saint, that they know all things. These words still signify that all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom are hidden in the Savior. All the secrets of the Father are known to him, he measures the extent of all creatures; the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son (Jn. 5:22); and no one knows what is in God except the Spirit of God who is also the Spirit of Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 2:11) How then can one say that he knows neither the day nor the hour, he whose spirit knows what is in God, and of whom he has said that he has received what is his? (Jn. 16:14-15) Now if the one who has received from his own knows the future things, how can this knowledge be denied to Christ who sent the Holy Spirit? Can we assume that the Judge who predicted us all the warning signs of this judgment, ignores the day? It may also be said that he does not know those to whom he has said: “Truly I say to you, I do not know you." (Matt. 25:12) He will probably not know the foolish and careless virgins, because at this request: "Lord, Lord, open to us," he answers them, "I tell you, verily, I do not know you." So there is a reason He tells us that he does not know what he knows, and in another place he makes this recommendation: "Watch, because you do not know what time your master is coming." (Ibid. 24:42) It is therefore to excite our attentiveness and our vigilance that to the question that is made to him, he answers that he knows neither the day nor the time of the judgment to come, but it is in our interest that he says he does not know what he knows. We do not know what is useful to us, and we want to know things whose knowledge can only be harmful to us. Now, Jesus Christ, who desires our salvation above all else, declares that he does not know that day so as not to let us know what it would be dangerous for us to know. If there is a patient who, in the excess of pain, asks for a sword to take his life away, will he accuse you of lying if you will answer that you have none, knowing that by complying to his request it can only be harmful to him?