Summary: In Revelation 22:16 Jesus descibes Himself in three ways: The root of David (Deity), The Offspring of David (human), The Bright Morning Star (hope)!
Who Is Jesus?
Scott R Bayles, preacher
Please open your Bibles up to Revelation chapter twenty-two. In this chapter, there is a remarkable verse on the nature of our Savoir. Earlier this week I was on-line and I discovered a web-site that keeps track of the earth’s population. There is a counter that is constantly increasing and according to that website there are 6,356,715,792 people on the earth! We are quickly approaching 6.5 billion people in the world, and with so many people it is hard for us to distinguish ourselves from everybody else. Sometimes people do some crazy things to try and stand out.
The television show, "Ripley’s Believe It Or Not," actually came about because of a chain of museums called "Ripley’s Believe It Or Not." The very first of these museums was opened in Chicago, IL in 1933 by Robert Leroy Ripley, who dedicated himself to collecting the most bizarre and out of the ordinary artifacts from around the world. Today, the television show, hosted by Dean Cain and Kelly Packard, showcase the most unusual people, trying to standout by performing strange, often grotesque, stunts. Just this season: A man stuffed 8 cockroaches in his mouth setting a new world record. Another man built a monorail to travel around his backyard. An older woman was on the show because her entire diet consists of dirt! On the latest episode another person laid in a bathtub filled with poisonous snakes, in order to break a world record.
Most of us, I hope, don’t feel like they have to do anything as crazy as that to be individual. But we still feel the need to distinguish ourselves. When we meet new people, for instance, we may talk about our jobs, our families, our children, or grandchildren. These are things that make us unique, ways that we distinguish ourselves from the rest of the world.
But I’d like to ask: How would Jesus Christ distinguish Himself? What makes Him unique? What makes Him special? If we were to live in Jerusalem 2,000 yrs ago, maybe one of us would have met Jesus and asked Him, "Who are you?" How would Jesus describe Himself?
When we come to the last chapter of the Bible, we have one of the greatest self-identifications of Christ found anywhere in the Scriptures. I’d like to invite you to read with me, and consider the ways in which Jesus distinguishes Himself:
Revelation 22:16, "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."
What a beautiful verse. Who is Jesus Christ? In this short verse, just 28 words, Jesus describes Himself in three different ways. He uses three different images here to identify Himself. Notice first, Jesus says that He is...
I. THE ROOT OF DAVID:
Rev. 22:16 ~ "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root of David..."
That is very, very unusual! Of all the things Jesus could have described Himself as, a "root" is probably the last thing I would have expected. Nevertheless, Jesus says that He is the "root of David." So, what does that mean? Well, when we think of a plant today we know that all plants must first have a root, in order to survive.
It’s interesting though, King David was born in approximately the year 1050 BC; that is approximately 1,050 years before Jesus was born! But which comes first: the plant or the root? Well, of course it’s the root! So what is Christ telling us? There is actually a very profound message here. Jesus is saying that He was in existence before David, and not only that but, David came into existence through Jesus!
The statement, "I am the root of David," therefore tells us that Jesus is Divine. It means that He has always been in existence! He was never a mere man. In fact, the eternal existence of Jesus can be found in Genesis 1:26: Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." The use of the plural pronoun there was no accident. Jesus Christ was present at the creation of the universe. The Apostle John describes Jesus in very beautiful words, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He was in the beginning with God. (3) All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being" (John 1:1).
All created life in the universe goes back to Jesus Christ. He is not only the "root of David," but He is the root of everything that has ever been brought into existence. Jesus Christ was not just a mortal man. He is God!