What many people call the morning or evening star is actually a planet, usually Venus but sometimes Jupiter, Saturn, or Mars. When one of them appears close to the Sun as viewed from Earth, sunset or sunrise watchers are treated to starlike brilliance of one of our planetary neighbors, which may be brighter than any of the true stars in the night sky. The distinction between “morning” and “evening” simply refers to the time at which the planet is visible.
Due to the orbital motion of planets around the Sun, a planet might be a “morning star” at one time of the year, and then later, as its orbit carries it behind and then to the other side of the Sun, it appears as an “evening star.” [StarDate.org]
Jesus calls himself “the bright Morning Star” in Revelation 22:16. Why? We are helped by the context and the use of the star metaphor in other parts of Scripture. In 22:16 Jesus also calls himself “the root and offspring of David.” This signifies that he is the fulfillment of all the prophecies regarding David and the Messiah who would come from him. David’s eternal kingdom has been inaugurated and is coming to completion with the coming of Jesus once again to earth.
In Balaam’s prophecy in Numbers 24:17 he says, “A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.” And in Isaiah 60:1-3 we read, “”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 and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”
The morning star signals the dawn and the beginning of a new day. Jesus identifies himself as the bright Morning Star in fulfillment of the prophecies of the coming Davidic kingdom that are all about to be fulfilled with his coming again to earth. The process has started its completion and his coming will finish it.
Jesus is encouraging his church to hold on in the knowledge that he is coming and all that we have longed for will be realized with his coming. Our hope is not in this world, or in what we get out of this world, but in the One who is coming to get us and make of us a new kingdom that will last forever and reflect His glory for ever and ever.