October 3

Mark 10:13-16

“But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.’” vs. 14

There is some evidence in scripture that Jesus may have been involved in baptisms during his ministry, but there is no indication that he baptized little children or even advocated such a thing. He didn’t know about infant baptism, though he was presumably well acquainted with circumcision. Still, when Christians began baptizing infants and it became a regular practice, they believed that Jesus would have been supportive. After all, he had chewed out the disciples big time when they tried to stop parents from bringing children for blessings. He felt that the kingdom of God belongs to the little ones, and unless adults learned to be like them, they’d never have a clue about kingdom living. As a result, to this day, a significant number of congregations, maybe even the majority, regularly and gladly baptize children in their worship. They do this, not to save kids from going to hell, but to celebrate the amazing and incredible, all-encompassing grace of God. Salvation does not come via personal decision or a conversion experience, it comes totally because of God’s mercy and steadfast love! And while it’s just fine for some to practice believer’s baptism, it cannot be denied that baptizing little children remains the very best way for believers to celebrate grace.

Thought for the Day: Why isn’t the rite of baptism necessary for salvation?

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