The Gathering Church/ Baptism Sunday: Pastor Barry Bruce
“Wet Behind The Ears” Matthew 18:2-3, John 3:1-7
You have no doubt heard the expression “Wet Behind The Ears”. The meaning of the phrase refers to someone who is very young, naive and inexperienced. Example of use: “I can’t believe they decided to promote Kelly. If you ask me, I think she’s still wet behind the ears”. The idiom came from the drying of amniotic fluid on a baby after birth, specifically a new-born farm animal, which last dries behind the ears.
How many of you understand what I’m getting at when I say “you need to be ‘wet behind the ears’ before you can walk in the Spirit of truth and wisdom”? Let me explain: Jesus’ disciples were arguing one day over who would be the greatest in God’s kingdom and Jesus essentially said “the one wettest behind the ears”. We must receive the kingdom of God humble, like a child. No matter what our life experience is, we must come to Christ like an inexperienced child. In fact when Nicodemus, a religious teacher, came to Jesus in the night wondering how he could gain eternal life, Jesus said “you must be born again”. Jesus was essentially telling Nicodemus to forget all of his learning and “get wet behind the ears”. Be reborn Nicodemus! He was confused because he could not understand how one could enter his mothers womb and be “born again” but Jesus explained: To go to heaven one must be born first of water (from his mother’s amniotic fluid) and then again by the Holy Spirit. As the promise says in John 1:1:12-13, when anyone receives Christ, and believes in his name, he gives them the right to become “children of God”. One becomes “born again”, not of natural descent, nor of a human decision or of a husbands will, but born of God. “Wet behind the ears” again like a little child. Ready to learn from the Holy Spirit of God.
More than Wet Acts 2:38-39, Romans 6:4, 2 Corinthians 5:17
The act of baptism is more than getting wet. It is a symbol of being “born again”. First, it is the act of willingly repenting (turning away from sin) and following Jesus example and command as a child would obey his father. Secondly, it is a symbolic act of dying to self (going under the water) and being washed clean. Thirdly, it is a symbol of raising up with new life in Christ. “Born again” through water, but this time not breathing in air, but the power of God’s Holy Spirit. After baptism one is more than wet with water, they are filled with the promised power of the Holy Spirit and will now walk in the newness of life. That is God’s direction, promise, truth and wisdom. “The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!”
Public Praise Romans 6:23, John 3:16, Matthew 10:32-33
In our world, being very young, naïve and inexperienced is considered foolish or even shameful. But Jesus wants us “wet behind the ears” when it comes to sin and the wages of that sin which is death. The gift of God is eternal-life in Christ Jesus our Lord, and it is offered freely because of his love for us demonstrated by his death on a cross ( to pay for our sin) to anyone who would come to him like a child.
Like a child who is proud of his loving father we are to publicly announce our son-ship to everyone we meet. That is why publicly display the act of baptism, and our love and service in Jesus name. As he instructed us, we confess him before men both today and always:
“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father in heaven, but whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in heaven”. Matthew 10:32-33
We who are the “born again” “Children of God” also come out of the water today to fulfill the great commission of Jesus. That is why we baptize and the church rejoices!
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Come to the Waters Isaiah 55:1a,2a,6
Are you thirsty? Come to the water who is Jesus. “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Yes, we all must be ‘wet behind the ears’ before we can walk in the Spirit of truth and wisdom. If you are not “born again” then come like Nicodemus did and let me introduce you to Jesus after the service. Better yet, ask one today who is wet behind the ears after their baptism. They know the way!