Baptism of Samantha Lee Jones
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost Trinity Lutheran Church
24 June 2012 Murdock, NE
+ Jesu Juva +
Baptism of Samantha Lee Jones
What’s this? Bringing little children and babies to Jesus? Begging Him to touch them? Bless them? Doesn’t He have more important people to take care of? Matthew has a tax question that can’t wait. Peter and Andrew are having an argument with James and John about how best to fish the Sea of Galilee. Besides that Peter needs to be fitted for with a crown and mitre as well as start making his travel plans to Rome. Thomas is going through one of his dark periods of doubt. Simon the Zealot is pushing Jesus to ramp up some hardcore anarchist community activism to put the Romans on the defensive. Judas Iscariot never can balance the books. The disciples always have less in their accounts than they thought. As you can see Jesus is just way too busy! Little ones just don’t qualify for the Master’s touch or blessing!
So the disciples get in Mom and Dad’s grill. I think it’s safe to say they weren’t in the Wal Mart greeter kind of mood. “Get these kids out of here! No joke! You take your snotty nose kids and crying babies and go home! Right now! Or we’ll have James and John who double as bouncers show you the door! They didn’t get their nickname: ‘Sons of Thunder’ for nothing! They might even try a little fire from heaven on you if you don’t do what we say!”
No one bothered to ask Jesus. He’s just too busy. They just assumed. And you know what happens when you assume … well, let’s not go there. Sorry I brought that up!
Brad and Stacy, you didn’t happen to meet any of those adult-like disciples at the door did you? Did anybody tell you that this is an adults’ only place? I sure hope not. Because if anybody here at Trinity got in your grill and rebuked you for bringing little Samantha here, then I guarantee you Jesus would not be pleased! That’s putting it lightly. Since we’re in mixed company I can’t put into words just how “greatly displeased” Jesus would be!
Would any of you gathered here today try to keep a child or a baby away from Jesus? Would you dare to do such a thing? Would you be so audacious? Many do. For every reason under the sun! 24-7-365 self-preached sermons that justify why they can’t or won’t let their children rest in the arms and nail-scarred hands of Jesus.
Better listen to what Jesus says. He’s the Lord. Let Him have His say first! Don’t assume! Because if you presume, you’ll get it wrong! Hellaciously wrong!
“Let the little children come to me and do not forbid them.” That’s from the Lord’s mouth! His words! His categorical sermon! “Let the little children come to me and do not forbid them for of such is the kingdom of God. I’ve come for them too! I’m the Savior of everyone! Every sinner under the sun! Every sinner in the world! And the kids are included! There’s no sinner I haven’t come for! There’s no sin that I would ever leave out of My Good Friday dying! So let the little children come to me and do not forbid them. Don’t you dare keep them away from me! Don’t you even think about keeping them outside of my forgiveness! For where I’m dishing out my forgiveness there is life and salvation!”
That’s why Brad and Stacey brought Samantha: to Jesus! For Holy Baptism! Jesus died for her. When He declared, “It is finished,” the salvation job was done and achieved for you, Samantha, and me! In Matthew 28 Jesus mandated that all nations be baptized in the Triune Name so that His Calvary won forgiveness would be bestowed and delivered.
On Pentecost the blessed apostle Peter baptized many with this promise: that in Holy Baptism your sins are forgiven and you are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise of forgiveness and Holy Spirit given in Holy Baptism is “for you and for your children,” (Acts 2:39). When the blessed apostle Paul tells of His baptism he says that his sins were washed away (Acts 22:16). In Romans 6 Paul tells us that in Holy Baptism sinners are buried with Christ into Christ’s death. You know what death that is, don’t you? The Good Friday death! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world death! No wonder then that Peter declares in his first epistle that “baptism saves,” (1 Peter 3:21). Paul agrees. To Titus he declared: “God saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,” (Titus 3:4-5). All such apostolic teaching and preaching flows from what Jesus Himself promised in Mark 16:16: “Whoever believes and is baptized …. WILL BE SAVED!”
Holy Baptism saves because Jesus is at work in it delivering and giving the very forgiveness He won for all sinners in His bloody sacrificial dying on the cross! Or to put it another way where Jesus says you’re forgiven you are! His words do and give what they say! In the Bible salvation and the forgiveness of sins are the same thing! And that’s what Jesus is handing out in Holy Baptism. Little baby sinner Samantha was forgiven all her sins at the font. For hidden in the Word of God spoken over her was the blood of Jesus. The very blood of Jesus that cleanses impure, unclean sinners from every sin!
Now you may still object! How, I don’t know, but still comes the protest: “Samantha didn’t do anything! She couldn’t even talk! She just let it happen to her!”
Precisely! She’s not the Savior! Jesus is! And when He does a salvation He does it all! Gives it all! Achieves it totally – without anyone’s help! Delivers and bestows it without anyone’s contribution! So, yes, that’s right, Samantha did nothing! She was completely given to! By the Lord Jesus Himself! Touched. Blessed. Baptized! That’s exactly why Jesus declares: “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
Happy Baptism Day Samantha! May your Baptism bear much fruit in your life! Dittos for all of you baptized who are gathered here today around the Lord Jesus and His giving!
In the Name of Jesus.