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The story of the little children coming to Jesus in Matthew 19, Mark 10, and Luke 18 is, of course, well know. And most often I have heard it interpreted that the kingdom requires faith like a child. Yet the word "faith" doesn't appear in any of these accounts; so I'm wondering if this is the right interpretation.

In Mathew and Mark the pericope follows Jesus' teaching on divorce, which seems like a kind of unrelated matter (though, I'm willing to be proven wrong); while in Luke it is preceded but the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector. However, in all three accounts, the story of the children coming to Jesus is immediately followed by the story of the young rich ruler. Matthew even seems to explicitly connect the events writing, "και ιδου."

Does the story of the young rich ruler help shed light on what it means to receive the kingdom of God like a little child? And if so how?

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Interesting, I'd have to take a look into this myself!! I'll let you know what I find if I do. +1 for good question. – Chris Bier Mar 22 '12 at 4:51

The rich young ruler would be an antitype of the little child. A little child (παιδίον) will rely entirely on their parent. The rich young ruler was instead relying on his own riches. God calls us to give up this world and instead be dependent on Him.

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I totally agree with Nathan, that was one of the first things I saw as well.

I'd like to note that he was saddened when he was asked to sell his possessions and give to the poor. I see this as a big indicator of pride.

So not only was he not child-like in his reliance on God, he was not child like in terms of his humility.

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