People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:15-17)
When my newborn babies were placed on my chest for the first time, tear-bringing love bonded us. I wanted my children blessed by Jesus as every God-believing parent does. These verses and similar ones in the New Testament are the only basis for infant baptism but also imply it isn’t necessary because little children already belong to the kingdom of God. Like many parents, I wanted my babies baptized because it is the closest thing to Jesus placing his hands on them.
The disciples rebuked parents for bringing their children to Jesus, but Jesus knew blessing their babies was important to them. He blessed them and also used it as a teaching moment to bless all that listened. We should think beyond Jesus’ words and ask why God wants us to be like little children to enter His kingdom. He wants us to love and depend on Him, help others, receive His love and forgiveness, cuddle in His lap, let Him lead us down a path, and tell Him what’s on our mind. These are things that young children are good at.
Father God, I belong to Your kingdom. Remind me I’m Your child. Love me, lead me, cuddle me, forgive me, and listen to me. Let me be receptive to all you give including the power of the Holy Spirit to advance Your kingdom. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.