Combining John’s gospel with the book of Revelation, we see a total of 12 metaphorical “I AM” statements, giving us a view of the character and purpose of God’s beloved Son. However, we should not relegate these words exclusively to metaphorical interpretation, as the very use of the phrase “I AM” is a claim to deity. The Lord was drawing on the hearers’ knowledge of Exodus 3:14 as testimony to the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is Jehovah from eternity. I AM THAT I AM!
In the last “I AM” we will once again see a unique aspect of the Lord’s character and purpose. Each reader should thoughtfully consider the implications.
The Root and Offspring of David is specific to Israel and God’s purpose to have a king sit on the throne of David forever. We are reminded in Isaiah 11 of the fruitful Branch from the foundational root of Jesse Who will judge in righteousness when He comes forth. As the Offspring of David, the Lord Jesus Christ, being the Shoot or Fruitful Branch, is the descendant of David Who was the promised throne sitter (Psa 132:11). As the Root of David, we are presented with the Lord as the foundational root, or origin, of David. In one Divine Person, we see the only One Who could be spoken of as both the source of David’s existence and the descendant of David, the rightful heir to his throne. This interpretation is supported by the Lord Jesus Himself (Matt 22:41-46).
The Bright and Morning Star is a title unfolding its own meaning as we examine these words in similar passages. Peter writes to NT believers about a Morning Star, or Day Star, that would arise in their hearts (2Peter 1:19). The Lord Jesus speaks of overcomers in the church in Thyatira and promises that He will give them the morning star (Rev 2:28).
Additionally, the words of Malachi 4 are relevant as the day of the Lord is being considered. In this analogy where a furnace is envisioned burning stubble, root and branch, we are being shown a glimpse of the coming tribulation period. During the time of Jacob’s trouble, the righteous will be regarded as the Lord’s special treasure, and to those who fear His name He shall appear as the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings. The Sun’s warm rays bringing an end to the darkness of tribulation is a direct reference to the Lord’s appearing in glory to conclude the tribulation and usher in a kingdom characterized by righteousness.
Understanding the Sun of Righteousness as Christ coming to relieve the believing remnant of Israel at His appearing, we see the Bright and Morning Star in a dispensational view. As the morning star appears in the sky as a precursor to the rising of the sun, so the Lord Jesus will come to rapture the Church as the Bright and Morning Star before the Day of the Lord and the eventual rising of the Sun of Righteousness.
In this last “I AM” we have been reassured that in Christ, God will fulfill His purpose for the nation of Israel and effect the pre-tribulation rapture of His bride. The question that should arrest every unbeliever is this: “Will you be ready?”