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Sixth Sunday of Easter

April 27, 2008

Sixth Sunday of Easter              Trinity Lutheran Church
27 April 2008                               Murdock, NE

+ Jesu Juva +

St. Mark 10:13-16 / 1 Peter 3:21-22
Baptism of Jager James Barnes

They brought young children to [Jesus] that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.  But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.  Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”  And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.

You don’t want to displease Jesus do you?  I mean really get Him hacked off?  Then keep the little children away from Him.  “They brought young children to Jesus that He might touch them.”  But the disciples, in their best Arnold Schwarzenegger muscle bound bouncer way, spout off a rebuke:  “Great to see you Mr. and Mrs. Barnes and all you adults.  However, the Lord has no time for your snotty nose, dirty diaper, crybaby kids!  They’ll just slow the Lord down. Interrupt His ministry.  We don’t dare let Him lay His hands your kids.  He might pick up one of those nasty kid germs. Jesus will see you parents!  But we warn you:  leave Jager in the nursery, ship him off to children’s church, or leave him at home with a sitter!  We won’t be having a Jesus bothered by your babies!  This is an adults only gathering!” 

Nonsense!  Jesus will have none of that.  His disciples don’t have a clue.  What part of “Jesus has come to die for all,” don’t they understand?  The disciples want a Jesus only for the adults.  Kids are excluded.  But that’s wrong.  Dead wrong.  Jesus came to die for everyone.  “All have sinned,” Scripture says.  And so the “all,” both adult and child alike, need the Savior.  Leave the kids out of Jesus’ dying for all and you have a world full of people for whom He didn’t die.  Exclude the kids from His Good Friday and you’ve got a very, very upset Jesus.  “When Jesus saw it [what the disciples were doing] He was greatly displeased.”  

So Jesus sets us straight.  What He says is certain and sure.  Listen:  “Let the little children come to Me and do not forbid them.”   Did you hear that?  “Let the little children come to Me and do not forbid them.”  Why?  Jesus has an answer for that too.  “For of such is the kingdom of God.”  In other words, the reign of God’s forgiveness for Christ’s sake is for them too!  Children are sinners too.  Just like their Moms and Dads.  Just like Adam and Eve.  So all sinners are in need of Jesus and His forgiveness.  Even the children:  “Let the little children come to Me and do not forbid them for of such is the kingdom of God.”   

Jesus didn’t just come for the adults.  He’s not an adults only Savior!  If you believe that you have to be an adult to have the reign of God’s kingdom extended over you, then you’d better listen to Jesus again.  He blows away all your false thinking.  Stands it all on its head.  Listen.  “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 

Give a child a gift and he receives it.  No questions asked.  Even babies.  Does Jager say “NO” to Mama’s milk?  Does Jager refuse the diaper change?  Does Jager throw off his baby blanket in disgust?  Does Jager run away from kisses and hugs?  No.  He eagerly receives all the gifts his parents, grandparents and big brother provide from breast milk and kisses to all the clothes on his tiny body.  For he trusts Justin, Jennifer, Jaxson and all his family to take care of him with their giving and gifts.

And so too with Jesus.  “Bring him to me,” Jesus commands.  And so Justin and Jennifer did.  Brought their little boy to the font.  And there with His nail-scarred hands Jesus held Jager in His arms.  With His nail-scarred hands Jesus baptized Jager and blessed him with all the benefits of His dying and rising for a sinner like him and for all.

Behold!  The kingdom of God given to Jager in his baptism!  Now Jesus lords His death and resurrection over Jager’s sin.  His sin is forgiven.  Death is put to death.  Satan is bound.  Jager is truly blessed!  And blessed are you who are baptized in Jesus’ Name.  For the Lord does not count your sin against you.  Your sin, Jager’s sin, all of it, is covered in the blood of Jesus.

The apostle Peter says that just as Noah and his family, eight in all, were saved in the ark that floated on the water, so also the water of,  “baptism now saves [Jager and] you . . . through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”   Baptism isn’t just a washing of dirt from the body.  It is a washing.  It is a washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit as Titus 3 promises.  It is a washing away of all your sins as Paul was promised in Acts 22. 

Jesus won forgiveness for all and for Jager on the cross.  He “died for sins, once, for all,” (1 Peter 3).  In Holy Baptism Jesus bestows the forgiveness He won for all and for Jager. 

So are you forgiven Jager?  Yes.  Because Jesus died for you.  Because Jesus took you up in His arms and blessed you with His Good Friday and Easter Sunday forgiveness of sins in your Baptism.   And so too for you Trinity!  When your your sin torments or bothers your conscience, simply say:  “Yes, I have sinned.  But Jesus died for me!  And Jesus baptized me in His Name.  Giving me pardon and peace in what the Creed confesses as ‘one baptism for the remission of sins.’  My conscience is clean for Jesus’ sake!”

“Let the little children come to Me and do not forbid them for of such is the kingdom of God.”       

Happy Baptism Day Jager!

In the Name of Jesus who is “at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.”

From → "A" Sermons

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