On this last day of 2022 I cannot think of a better title coming from an incredible verse. Tempted that I was to get to the end of the Revelation by the end of the year this one verse kept me back from that.
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give youthis testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” (Revelation 22 v 16)
Yesterday I wrote of the Morning Star, Jesus, who enables us to keep going by the work of the Spirit. Today, is the wonderful declaration: I am the Root and the Offspring of David.
Every Jew knows Isaiah 11 v 1 where the promised Messiah is a branch from the Kingly line of David, the offspring. But here, in what is not surprising for the Revelation has continued to speak of the deity of Jesus’ throughout, Jesus declares, He is the Root. “I am more than the offspring, I am before David. I am the foundation of all the Jewish Kingly line, in fact without me there would be no line.” The Messiah is more than you can perceive. There is more than what you can see.
What kind of Messiah do you have and going into a new year what kind do you want? Whatever we can imagine, He is more than that.
This prophecy of the coming Messiah promised great things. Isaiah 61: 2 there would be a day of vengeance of God. In v4-11, there would be rebuilding and restoring places that had been occupied by the Gentiles. In v5-6 the Gentiles around them will be their servants and they will be fed on their wealth. In v7 there is the promise of a double portion. That was the Messiah, there was no doubt of the golden age He would bring. But that was not the Messiah. He was and is more than any generation can perceive. One of those settler towns that the Jews hoped to repossess at the time of Jesus was Nazareth. That in itself is quite amazing when you think the Messiah was raised there. But one day Jesus entered the synagogue in Nazareth and read from this very Scripture in Isaiah 61, the motivating prophecy of the golden age of the Messiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me …” But Jesus added a sentence from Isaiah 58 v 6, “to release the oppressed” and then tells 2 stories indicating who the oppressed were, the widow of Zaraphath and that of Naaman of Damascus and the Jewish crowd became furious with Jesus. To “release the oppressed” in 58:6 is used in the context of God not being impressed with empty religious gestures. This was not the Messiah they had in mind. He was their Messiah not the Gentiles.
So we come to the end of this end-time discipleship Revelation and we find a declaration of Jesus that He is the Messiah, the Root and Offspring of David, but that He is more than what the Jews and even we can perceive. As we move into a new year here are perhaps some challenges for us:
- Do not be so sure about God’s response to situations: Jesus took a text of judgment and turned it into a text of mercy. Mercy offends when you are banking on judgment.
- Think less of yourself: The Jews thought the messianic age would be all about them. Jesus shifts the text from ‘Here is what you will receive” into “Here is what you are expected to give”.
- Go with compassion: seek for justice amongst the downtrodden and the outcasts and open life to those who are bound.