Holy One of God
21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (Mark 1:24, NIV)
Think of your best friend as a child – or even your classmates. Now imagine you heard that one of them was challenging the religious leaders and religious teachings. This person you knew suddenly claimed to be something more, someone more. You would probably think they had lost it!
Many felt that way about Jesus. He was challenging the status quo and changing the way things had been done for generations. Who was He to do such things?
Interestingly, this designation of Holy One is acknowledged first by demons, by evil. Demons, evil, immediately recognized Him. They immediately knew who He was and they were terrified. They did not address Him as Holy One of God out of respect, but out of fear. Demons, evil, recognized Him immediately for who He was. He was Holy. He was from God. A sinless man, a Holy man.
By acknowledging Jesus as the Holy One of God, the demons recognized that Jesus came from God. He was God made flesh. To be Holy is to be unlike anything or anyone else. God is Holy. He is unlike any other gods. Jesus is Holy. He is unlike any other man.
15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16, NIV)
Later, after Jesus’ ascension, many of the Apostles refer to Jesus as the Holy One. Referring to someone as Holy One of God is not a simple statement, especially to the Jewish people. Throughout the Torah, throughout the books of prophecies, and throughout the psalms, God alone is referred to as Holy. God told Moses that He alone is Holy. And Israel was expected to be a Holy nation, worshipping only the Holy God.
But Israel often fell away from God, setting up other gods in His place of Holiness. So to do we often fall away. But we should always strive to be holy. When we accept the gift of salvation, we become sanctified, made holy through Jesus Christ. To be holy is to be set apart. As Christians, we are to be set apart from the world.
So what does this mean for us? Our lives as Christians should not be interchangeable with those who live according to the world. We should, we must be different. We worship a Holy God, who sent His Holy Son to earth to die for our sins so that we could be made holy before Him. Does your life reflect the Holiness of God? Are you striving to live a Holy life?
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