When some of Jesus’ disciples decided to stop following Him, Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” (John 6:66-67). Peter replied: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” (vv. 68-69). With these words, Peter accurately identified their Master as God incarnate, for that is what this title signifies.
The title “Holy One of God” means that Jesus is infinitely and absolutely holy, fully and perfectly divine. He is transcendent and majestic. He came down from above to save sinners, yet He is set apart from sinners in that He is completely sinless, without any moral blemish, perfect in all of His ways. His being is holy. His character is holy. His mind is holy. His motives are holy. His words are holy. His actions are holy. His ways are holy. His judgments are holy. From the top of His head to the bottom of His feet, every inch, every ounce, the totality, the sum and the substance of the second person of the Godhead is equally holy with God the Father.
What is the holiness of God? First, it has to do with “apart-ness” or “other-ness.” The idea of holiness speaks to the profound difference between Him and us. Holiness encompasses His transcendent majesty, His august superiority. He is distinctly set apart from us. As one infinitely above us, He alone is worthy of our worship and our adoration. Moses asked: “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” (Ex. 15:11). This is the holiness that the demon recognized; he knew that Jesus is the high, lifted up, supreme being of heaven and earth.
Second, it speaks to His untainted purity, His sinless perfection. God is morally flawless, blameless in all of His ways. The prophet Isaiah stressed this aspect of His character through repeated use of a formal title for God, “the Holy One of Israel.” It has been well said that the book of Isaiah is divided into two halves, the first thirty-nine chapters and the last twenty-seven chapters.