We celebrated the baptism of young Matthew at our service on 28 August 2016 and the sermon, from Rev. Geoff McKee, centres on Matthew’s Gospel (19:13-15) – “Suffer the little children …” – with reference also to the baptism of Jesus himself (Matthew 3:13-17). The scriptural references are first, below, followed by the sermon itself. You can download the text of the sermon as a pdf by clicking here (download begins immediately; 39kB).
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.” Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
The Little Children and Jesus
13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
Above the Cradle Roll, in the church where I was raised, are inscribed the words: “Suffer the little children to come unto me”.
I would pass this every Sunday, on my way from the church sanctuary to the Sunday School room, and I would always wonder what it meant. [Read more…]