Revelation 22:16:
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star

The bright and morning star is a reference to the planet Venus, which is so often seen shining brightly in the early morning. The sight of the planet provides a pledge of the coming day, which dispels the darkness and brightens and clears the sight. Jesus is the bright morning star! Bright, in that it illuminates our way, and the morning star, in that it ushers in the light of day.

Our view now constitutes only the beginning of a clearer sight, and it guarantees a glorious day that has no night when we shall see the King in all his beauty. There will even be no need of the sun, “for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Revelation 21:23).

However beautiful and awe-inspiring our perception is now by the light of our bright and morning star, Jesus Christ, we are promised a more complete view. Although he has “shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6), and although Christ appeared as “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person” (Hebrews 1:3), soon we shall see him “face to face” (I Corinthians 13:12) and even “be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2).

What a joyful hour it was when Jesus the Bright and Morning Star, first rose on this wretched dark world! Long had the world looked for his coming and waited for his salvation. Truly the world longed for the brightness of His rising, “more than they that watched for the morning” (Psalms 130:6). Its way continues to enlighten him as “his path shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

Yes, Jesus arose on a dark world as the Bright and Morning Star to guide our feet into the way of peace. Certainly this provides a reason for praise? The angels sang praises when he arrived, what should we do? The people of Bethlehem responded with wonder to the strange things the shepherds told them. People still wonder at what the Bible says. Remember a “star” was prophesied to come (Numbers 24:17).

In reference to his original splendor, Lucifer was called a “morning star,” which may be better translated as “shining star” (Isaiah 14:12). Jesus Christ is referred to in Revelation 22:16 as the “bright morning star,” indicating that he now exceeds Lucifer’s original brilliance because of his virtuous character. By never trying to shine in his own light but being content to reflect the Father’s brilliance, Jesus has now been blessed by God to be a luminary of luminaries, shining alongside God at His Own right hand. God “broke the mold” when He created Lucifer, but Jesus Christ is patterning himself after his Father being the image of the invisible God. What Lucifer sought for and even grabbed at—equality with God—Jesus never even considered for a moment that it could be his. But since Lucifer’s rebellion, God has longed for one to be His companion and share with Him in His many divine functions. Jesus Christ is now such a one, a glorious Lord not in any way competing with the Father but cooperating with Him to his glory (See One God and One Lord, p 58).

The morning star heralds the day (II Peter 1:19). It is a symbol of promise: his presence and guidance. And that is what Christ is, the bBright and Morning Star to the soul. Truly, a new day dawned for humankind when Christ was born, and a new day dawns for the individual heart when Christ comes in. How glad we should be that Jesus is never referred to as the “setting sun” or the “shades of night.” Rather, he is the light of the world. He banishes darkness, and as the bright and morning star, he ushers in a new day of hope and light.

Reginald Heber wrote a hymn in the early nineteenth century entitled “Brightest and Best,” and it is sung to the hymn tune Morning Star:

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

As sailors of old followed the stars in the sky, we can follow the Bright and Morning Star throughout the days of our lives, for he will be an unseen presence on our pilgrimage. Hold fast to him. Look up!

By Wayne Clapp