John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
Last week I heard a preacher on the radio speak of the words “Holy Father.” He noticed that these two words suggest our distance from and proximity to God. Our distance from = He is holy. Our proximity to = He is our Father.
Distance, God is holy.
God is holy. The Hebrew word for holy is “qodesh” and the Greek word for holy is “hagios.” Most likely we immediately think of sacred or pure. The most distinctive thing about the word in relation to God is “apartness” or “otherness.” God is before, above, and apart from all his creation and his creatures. He is the Holy One of Israel (Psalm 89:18). Holy and reverend is his name (Psalm 111:9). On his throne he is thrice-holy before all in his glory and his eternity (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8).
At a distance, man is unholy. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God; all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 64:6). Our iniquities separate us from God, and there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not (Isaiah 59:2; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 2 Timothy 3:2).
Proximity, God our Father.
Those who are born of God have God to their Father (John 1:12-13). He is our Father (Philippians 1:2) and the one who prayed “Holy Father” in his prayer taught us to pray “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9). By the Spirit within us we cry out to our dear Daddy (Romans 8:15) and have dear fellowship is with the Father (1 John 1:3).
Not very far.
God from heaven reaches down to our broken separate distant condition and brings together both “Holy” and “Father” – brings us to him, remaining just as the justifier of sinners (Romans 3:26). We may be holy, for he is holy (1 Peter 1:16); and are holy in the first resurrection that escapes the second death (Revelation 20:6).