A H.A.N.D.S. Approach to Showing Jesus is God

What reasons do we have for thinking that Jesus is truly God? Robert M. Bowman Jr. and J. Ed Komoszewski in their book Putting Jesus in His Place:The Case for the Deity of Christ published by Kregel in 2007, offer a simple and memorable way to do this. Using the acronym H.A.N.D.S., they reason that the Bible teaches that Jesus shares the Honour due only to God, that Jesus shares the Attributes of God, that Jesus shares the Names ascribed to God, that Jesus does the Deeds that only God can do, and that Jesus is Seated on the throne of God. Here are a few of the lines of evidence from the Scriptures that we can draw on.

Honour

Scripture indicates that God alone is to be worshipped (Deut. 6:13; Matt 4:9-10), yet Jesus is worshipped and accepts such worship (Matt. 14:33; Heb. 1:6; Rev 1:17), so who does that mean Jesus truly is? If Jesus were merely human it would be wrong to honour Him as God alone is to be honoured. Yet, we read that devout Jews in the New Testament bowed down and worshipped Jesus (i.e. “doubting” Thomas in John 20:28) and Jesus accepted that worship.

If Jesus were merely human it would be wrong to honour Him as God. Yet devout Jews in the New Testament bowed down and worshipped Jesus

Attributes

The Bible tells us that Jesus has the same attributes as God, being: eternal (John 1:1-3; 8:58), all-powerful (Matt. 28:18), all-knowing (John 21:17), and loving (Rom 8:35-39). If someone possessed the same characteristics, the same nature as God, in the same way that God did, what would that make Him?

Names

Jesus is said to have been given the name that is above every other name (Phil. 2:9-11). Jesus is called God (John 20:28), Lord (Acts 1:24), the King of kings (Rev 19:16), Saviour (Luke 2:11), and the First and the Last (Rev 1:7-8). It would be wrong to call any older man our father, so if Jesus receives such titles, that is saying a lot about who He is.

Deeds

Who can do the things that God alone does? Jesus is said to be the creator (John 1:3), the sustainer of all things (Heb. 1:2-3), He is sovereign over the forces of nature (Matt. 8:2327), the one who forgives sins (Matt 9:1-8), and even the one who gives life (John 1:4; 5:21). In fact it could be said that everything that God does for us, Jesus does for us. How should one respond to such blessings?

Seat

Lastly, Jesus sits on God’s throne (Rev. 3:21), ruling over all things (Rev 5:13). This is nothing short of claiming to be equal with God (John 10:27-33). Jesus is the judge of all history, of the entire world, of each person – to Him every knee will bow. Just as Buckingham Palace is the residence of the Queen, so the one who reigns sovereignly from heaven can be none other than the God of gods.

In conclusion, we should rejoice that Jesus is the one true God. This is the same Jesus who died on a cross for our sins – He knows our pains and struggles and He understands us and is here to help us. This is the same Jesus who rose from the grave and will come again, to take home all who confess Him as He truly is. As such we should have confidence in Him and should share with others the good news about who Jesus is and what He has done.[1]


[1] This is not to say there are not some hard to understand passages in the Bible. For those interested in more details about this, I would recommend Archer, Gleason L. Jr. New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001).

Originally published in Methodist Message, Singapore

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