The whole Bible teaches that God cares about people from every nation. For example, God chose Abraham and his future family (called the Jewish people) so that people in every nation could know his kindness (Genesis 12:3). Psalm 117 urges people in every nation to praise God for his goodness. God told Jonah that he cared greatly about foreigners (Jonah 4:11). Jesus told his disciples (special students) to declare Godís good news to people from every nation (Matthew 28:19).
John had just heard about 144,000 Jewish people who would put their trust in Christ. Next, God showed him the people from every nation who would trust in Christ. John saw in heaven a vast crowd which nobody could count. He emphasises strongly that they were from many different nations. They spoke different languages, but they all joined to praise Christ. Although they were from so many different countries, they did not oppose each other. Together, they had become the new holy nation of Godís people (Ephesians 2:11-13; 1 Peter 2:9). We call that nation: the kingdom of God. It will last always because no enemy can ever defeat it (Daniel 2:44).
Like the crowd in John 12:13, this crowd also carried branches from the palm tree. It was the custom to wave those branches on happy occasions as an expression of joy. John saw that there was much joy in heaven. The reason was that God had saved these people. He had brought them from the nations where they were far from him. He had forgiven them and he had given them a right relationship with himself.
Now he had given them a home in heaven, where they would be close to him. So their joy was great.
Next part: Salvation belongs to God (Revelation 7:10)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.