"The Holy One Of God"

W. Terry Varner
September 3, 2017

The first miracle listed in the Gospel of Mark was the act of casting out demons (1:21-28). Before Jesus performed the miracle, the demons acknowledged that Jesus was “the Holy One of God” (1:24). The response of the crowd upon Jesus casting the demons out was “What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority commanded He even to the unclean spirits, and they do obey Him” (1:27).

In other words, “Who is this man who can cast demons out of man?” When the demons called Him “Jesus of Nazareth . . . the Holy One of God,” what does this mean? First, Jesus of Nazareth is not a title but a statement indicative from where He came. The demons asked Jesus if He had come to “destroy” (1:24) them? The very One who came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10) had also come to destroy the demons (Matt. 8:29) by casting them into hell with Satan (Rev. 21:1-3). In Matthew’s account the demons asked, “Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” (Matt. 8:29). Is your faith in Jesus as strong as the demons faith demonstrated in these texts?

When the demon said, “I know You who You are” (Mark 1:24), he was speaking the truth and not telling a lie. The Bible teaches that there are certain things absolutely known to Satan and his demon servants. James said (2:19); i.e. they knew there was no salvation for them and they only dreaded the torments of eternity in hell.

Second, the title “the Holy One of God” is one of the most interesting titles in Scripture. The Pharisees and the scribes, at this point, failed to recognize who Jesus was. Yet when Jesus cast the demons out of the man, they acknowledged the Son of God. Why did they confess Jesus who was going to destroy their works and eventually cast them into outer darkness? They were not forced to do so by Jesus. In fact, Jesus “rebuked them” (Mark 1:25) ordering the demon not to speak and no additional word came from his mouth.

The demon’s description of Jesus as “holy” involves (1) that He was holy Himself and enables others to be holy, and (2) He is the anointed One meaning He was set apart by God for the performance of saving men and enabling them to live holy lives (Isa. 61:1-3; Luke 4:18-19; 19:10; John 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 1:16). Have you considered the fact that when men deny Jesus as the Son of God they show less insight and faith than the demons as the demons acknowledged it? They recognized Jesus as “the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24), “the Son of the Most High” (Mark 5:7), and “the Son of God” (Matt. 8:29). Men often do far less.

The title “the Holy One of God” was especially fitting to describe Jesus. The demons feared “the Holy One of God” because they knew that Jesus was appointed, anointed, empowered, and protected by God. He was the second person of the Godhead. This meant Jesus was under the protection and providential care of God, would defeat the enemies of God, and bring blessings of forgiveness and healing to mankind. The very title that terrified the demons comforts and inspires the followers of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is the Holy One of God who rescues, brings blessing to the obedient, and defeats all powers that oppose Him. There is none greater!