“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David (Revelation 22:16a).”
With this statement Jesus is making the claim that He is the one promised from old. The reference to the root and descendant of David comes from Isaiah 11 in which God promised to raise up a wise, just, and mighty king from the line of David even after it had been cut down to the “root of Jesse” (David’s father) in the exile to Babylon.
Now Jesus appears at the close of history as the One who fulfills the promises made of old. The prophet Isaiah said that this one who would come forth from the stump of Jesse would bring a peace like nothing we have ever seen. The imagery is rich there as we are told that a wolf shall dwell with the lamb (Isaiah 11:6) and that a nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra (Isaiah 11:8). In a world in which it often seems as if corrupt judgments are made in favor of the rich and powerful, we hear that this righteous One will “decide with equity for the meek of this earth (Isaiah 11:4).”
If we are honest, I think we can say that buried deep within our hearts is a longing for one who will bring peace that has not been known and one who will make judgments that are not weighted towards the powerful. We have heard hints of such a person in promises of old, and we have yearned to see his coming. So, we ask of Jesus: “Are you the one for whom we have been looking?” And he replies: “I am.”