I’ll conclude my look at the Lutheran understanding of baptism with this post. Another reason why Lutherans baptize babies and young children is because Jesus welcomed them. We see this as we look at Luke 18.
Starting in verse 15 of that chapter, we read: “Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."
Some might object, as they read this passage, that it’s not specifically referring to baptism. And this is true. However, in it, we see the attitude of Jesus toward infants and young children.
We see that the people were bringing their babies to Jesus, that he might touch them. The disciples didn’t think this appropriate and rebuked those who did so. But Jesus called them to himself. He said that those bringing their children were not to be hindered.
We continue to hold to that perspective as well. Those seeking to bring their children to Jesus are not to be hindered. Instead, they are to be welcomed.
Jesus adds to this that those who don’t receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it. Infants and young children, then, are a model for us. Just as children must trust in others for the care that they need, and just as they need to have everything provided to them, so too do we. If we’re to be saved, we must first recognize our helplessness. We must recognize that we must fully depend upon God to provide for us everything we need for life and salvation.