I AM, Part 4 by Larry W. Peebles October 20, 2017 17.40
When Jesus described Himself to the world, He used unconventional words and phrases. Terms that related to earthly things were not relevant or adequate to describe Him. Though He appeared in the flesh, He was God, an eternal spirit. He then demonstrated that He was/is God with miracles that defied the natural world. In this series of articles, I have used Jesus’ own statements to pull out the super-natural qualities He wanted the world to examine and remember. These self-descriptions are in the form of “I AM” statements recorded in Scripture, spoken from His mouth.
- I AM the bread of life. John 6:35.
- I AM the light of the world. John 8:12.
- I AM the gate/door. John 10:9.
- I AM the good shepherd. John 10:11.
- I AM the resurrection and the life. John 11:25-26.
- I AM the way and the truth and the life. John 14:6.
- I AM the true vine. John 15:1.
- I AM the Alpha (Beginning) and the Omega (End). In the Book of Revelation this was spoken four times (Revelation 1:8 and 1:17-18, Revelation 21:6, and 22:13).
All of these have been discussed in the previous parts to this series. In addition to these eight, The Book of Revelation contains more of these “I AM” statements. This article will explore Revelation 22:16, where Jesus spoke to John in a vision and said- “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I AM the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
I AM the Root and Offspring of David-
Addressing the first part of this I AM statement begs this question– how can someone be both the root (ancestor) and the offspring of the same person? The answer is that Jesus is both God and man. In His deity, He is David’s Creator and God. In His humanity, He is the offspring of Jesse, David’s father, and the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 11:1- “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.” (See also Romans 1:3, 4). Luke takes an interesting approach in tracing Jesus’ genealogy. He begins with Jesus, and goes backward through David, Jesse, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, and Noah, all the way back to Adam (Luke 3:23-37). Adam is described there as the (first) son of God. Since Jesus is the Creator, He is Adam’s father, and therefore is the Beginning and End of His own human genealogy. This answers the questions raised by the Jews in John 8:48-59 where Jesus said “before Abraham was, I AM”. It also speaks to Matthew 22:41-46, where Jesus points out to the Pharisees that David said (Psalm 110:1) the Lord (Jesus) was his Lord. That is, the Lord who would come after him was also above and before him as Lord. David, the shepherd/king was a fore-shadow of Jesus. Jesus is truly son of David and son of man (Adam), yet Creator of both.
I AM the bright Morning Star–
Luke called Jesus the Dayspring (Luke 1:78), the only time in the Bible this term is used. The Hebrew word is “anatole”, which means the place of rising, the dawn. Like Venus, the first planet/star to appear at dusk and the last star to be seen at dawn, Jesus is the guiding light to show us the way. He is the point of reference for all life’s journeys and decisions. Scientists say that if we could look down on our solar system, we would see Venus is the only planet to rotate clockwise. This makes Venus unique, as is Jesus, the one and only Lord and King–son of God and Savior of the world.
Jesus fulfills Balaam’s prophesy in Numbers 24:17- “A star will come out of Jacob.” It was a star that guided the wise men to His place of birth in Matthew 2:2-9. As the Word (John 1:1), Jesus is the lamp to our feet and light to our path (Psalm 119:105). As previously studied in this series, He is the light of the world (John 8:12).
It is interesting that Isaiah says Satan is the “morning star” in Isaiah 14:12, an angel “fallen from heaven”. He has lost his light, and is now associated with lies, darkness and death. In sharp contrast, Jesus is the bright Morning Star, sitting in heaven at the right hand of the Father. He is superior to the angels, the source of all truth, light and life (John 11: 25-26, and John 14:6).
2 Corinthians 4:6 says- “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of the darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the glory of God in the face of Christ.” That light of the bright Morning Star is the glory of God shining in the face of Jesus. Revelation says that light will never go out when it says in 21:23- “The city (of God) does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”
When Moses was in the presence of the Lord, his face shined with such radiance he wore a veil (Exodus 34: 29-35). Jesus called the believers “the light of the world.” Our relationship with Him should be such that the radiance of His glory should shine on our faces when we have been in His presence. Consider this from Hebrews 1:3- “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.”
Jesus is the bright Morning Star we can depend on, and the light of the world. We must be so filled with Jesus that we too are a light into a dark world. Jesus must shine on our faces. The beacon of our lives should reliably point others toward Him. This is the only I AM statement we have studied where Jesus asks us to be a participant. He says in Matthew 5:16- “So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
As the morning star closes each day and opens the next, Jesus is our hope for a new day, new life, and a fresh beginning. Lamentations 3: 22-23 says- “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Jesus as the bright Morning Star stands as the guaranty of this verse.
Our challenge is to be a conduit of the light of the Morning Star. 2 Peter 1: 17-18 tells us this is possible- “For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”
The fate of the peoples of the world lies in the balance. I close with Isaiah 60: 1-3- “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”