Why Are Both Jesus and Satan Referred to as the Morning Star?

The alternative is to be like Satan; a fallen star. Jesus is the Morning Star, but not a star that comes and goes according to the cycle of a day or a year. His star will be the immovable, immutable center of our lives.

Contributing Writer
Updated Dec 21, 2020
Why Are Both Jesus and Satan Referred to as the Morning Star?

How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! (Isaiah 14:12).

“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, the bright morning star” (Revelation 22:16).

So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts (2 Peter 1:19).

Two stars, one still shining, one fallen: This is the picture of Jesus versus Satan. Satan was a star, but his light has been extinguished. Jesus is the star. Although he was killed, he rose again and resumed his place in the heavens. His light was extinguished for a short season, but ultimately could not be put out.

What Is the Imagery of Morning Star?

Many of the descriptors, which give us a picture of Christ reflect our limited imaginations and are given to us because we understand them. They relate to the world as we know it because we cannot comprehend God fully.

“Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty?” asks Job (Job 11:7). Imagery helps us to visualize the invisible spiritual battle.

A single image can possess multiple meanings. Water is both an image of destruction and of salvation in the Bible. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you” (Isaiah 43:2).

This verse alludes to the parting of the Red Sea, which when its walls were released by God, obliterated Pharaoh’s army. Yet, Isaiah 12:3 says, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation,” which looks forward to the Living Water Jesus would offer to a Samaritan woman.

According to Randy Alcorn, in his article, “Why is Jesus Called the Morning Star?” some readers take offense at both Jesus and Satan being referred to using the same imagery. To suggest they are in any way similar is unnatural, but Alcorn is quoting Scripture, God’s inspired word on the matter.

Nothing in the Lord’s word is extra; it is always alive with meaning and purpose. Satan and Jesus are each referred to as a Star of Morning or Day Star, but the contrast between them could not be more profound.

How the Name Morning Star Shows Contrast

Scripture frequently reinforces a point using contrast. Satan tried to tempt Jesus to eat, to test the Lord, and to rebel against the Lord as Satan had done. Satan implied a lie — that he could grant power to Jesus — but Jesus used God’s truth as his defense against temptation. “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

From the mountain peak where Satan offered Jesus power over everything they saw, the evil one was prepared to dispose of the world and its inhabitants as the wager in a bet. Christ, from this lofty vantage point, looked still higher — to the Father. “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only” (Matthew 4:10).

Celestial imagery is another facet of juxtaposition within the Bible. Satan had the potential to be a servant angel, to remain in the presence of God, not in power, but in relationship. He could have reflected God’s light to Adam and Eve and their offspring. Instead, he used his power to lead them into sin.

Christ is not only the true and lasting light of morning, but he was the first light, with God at the beginning. Satan now represents “the long dark night of suffering on earth,” while Christ represents “great promise and hope.”

What Is the Irony of the Name Morning Star?

Irony is when we say the opposite of what we mean or when what we see belies reality. As we await Christ’s return, it sometimes seems as though Satan has won, that his power exceeds Christ’s. Yet, Satan’s seemingly bright star will be extinguished forever in the pit of Hell. Jesus is the eternal Morning Star who will return to send him there.

Satan’s power over the body of the Christian church is finite, although one would be a fool to understate his power over those who have not yet believed in Christ for salvation or even to underestimate his ability to disturb a Christian’s peace.

Morning Star and the Astronomy of the Bible

On the day that Christ died and was buried, it was as though Satan’s light eclipsed Christ’s. Remember the star rising in the east when Christ was born? An astronomical explanation of the Star of Bethlehem provides a scientific parallel. “When the planet reappears again for the first time, and rises in the morning sky just moments before the sun, [...] that moment is known to astrologers as a heliacal rising.”

In other words, Christ’s star was always there, but it was darkened until the correct time. Then, it reemerged brighter than ever. Stars fall. They die. When a huge star dies, there is “an intense supernova explosion.” After this, “the core of the star [...] is either left as a neutron star or implodes as a black hole.” Every planet orbiting this star is also destroyed.

Satan fell. His light was extinguished forever just as the light of the sun will one day die. Everyone who worships him will be sucked into the black hole of eternal despair.

Jesus’ life seemed to have been extinguished like that of a star, but Revelation depicts Christ’s light as not merely greater than that of the sun or even a bigger star: We will no longer need the light of the sun in heaven.

Christ will supply all the light and warmth we require. “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light” (Revelation 22:5).

Morning Star and the Bible’s Use of Light 

A star shines brightly in the darkness, but the Star at the center of the Christian galaxy dispels darkness and provides light all day long. We are to be that sort of light, one which operates during every waking hour to provide hope to those around us, reflecting Christ’s light. 2 Peter 2:19 lays this out: We are to be a light to people until the real light returns.

That real light will be more powerful than the sun’s finite rays as we see from Revelation 22:5. We are not the dawn of hope; even the morning sun is only a pale representation of Christ’s light. We operate like spiritual flashlights in a dark world to those who need encouragement, whether they are unbelievers or brothers and sisters in Christ. “Be imitators of God,” says Paul (Ephesians 5:1).

Because of our full inheritance into the Kingdom of Heaven as sons and daughters with Christ, we are invited by Jesus to “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

The alternative is to be like Satan; a fallen star. Once that star is dead, it is cold and black, sucking light and life out of those who crave hope in the midst of desperation.

Those who are searching for light will find it in Christ as they see it working through God’s people, but they must experience the warmth and hope of light in order to be attracted to it.

He is the Morning Star, but not a star that comes and goes according to the cycle of a day or a year. His star will be the immovable, immutable center of our lives.

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/urfinguss

Candice Lucey is a freelance writer from British Columbia, Canada, where she lives with her family. Find out more about her here.

This article is part of our People of Christianity catalog that features the stories, meaning, and significance of well-known people from the Bible and history. Here are some of the most popular articles for knowing important figures in Christianity:

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