Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was a very devout Roman Catholic evangelist. One of the stories that grew out of his ministry concerns a time when he was baptizing new converts in a river. He would wade out waist-deep into the water and call out for new Christians to come to him, one by one, to be baptized.
Once he baptized a mountain chieftain. Saint Patrick was holding a staff in his hands as the new converts made their way into the water. Unfortunately, as he was lowering the chief down under the water three times, he also pressed his staff down into the river bottom.
Afterwards the people on the riverbank noticed their chief limp back to shore. Someone explained to Patrick that, as he pressed the wooden staff into the riverbed, he must have also bruised the foot of the chief. Patrick went to the chief at once and asked, “Why did you not cry out when I stuck you in the foot?”
Surprised the chief answered, “I remembered you telling us about the nails in the cross, and I thought my pain was part of my baptism.”
It’s important for us to help believers know that pain and sacrifice may be part of our calling as disciples of Jesus.
View more sermon illustrations for inspiration for your next message.