“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17)

It is strange that Jesus, the one who calls Himself the Good Shepherd is also a lamb. As a lamb, Jesus Himself is one of us, a member of the flock, our brother and companion. But He is a special member of that flock for He is the Lamb of God sacrificed for our sins and the sins of all mankind. As Shepherd He is God Almighty who sustains and guides us and rules over all. In Revelation 7 we read of John’s vision of those over whom the Lord reigns, a vast uncountable number of people from every tribe and nation.

This vision tells us a very important fact that is vital to us who live in 21st Century America. We are not primarily Americans or any combination of that form (Italian-American, African-American, Chinese-American, Democrats, Republicans, etc.). We are first and foremost citizens of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is composed of and open to people from every ethnic group, race, language and nationality. Thus racism, nationalism, and ethnic pride and arrogance have no place in the Kingdom of God. They separate, divide and create hostility.

We believers are called by faith to obey the Lord, to follow His commands, and to love each other. We the faithful are equal in faith and status to every believer throughout the world. Thus we must treat all believers, no matter who they are or where they are from with respect and love. The Kingdom of God is the only way to bring peace to earth, to calm the fears of hurting people, to find forgiveness for sin and freedom from shame. For only through faith in our Good Shepherd as our sacrificial Lamb can we find oneness with God and peace with each other through Him.