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The Lord taught his people that, to enter into the Kingdom of God, we must receive it as little children.
Not often remarked upon is the immediate contrast to the trust of little children found in Mark's Gospel. The rich young ruler then appears, asking what he should do to inherit eternal life.
The contrast is between the helpless children who bring nothing to Christ, and the self-reliant, self-confident man who trusts in his own righteousness and his money, and therefore his own power and security.
It goes against the sin nature for men to admit they are powerless and helpless. For a sinner to admit he is lost, undone, and without any help within himself is a humbling experience. That is why the Devil's religions are always about works and ritual and self-help - things that appeal for the dignity and spirit of a rebellious sinner.
The rich man had money, and therefore he did not consider himself helpless. In his mind, he was also righteous by keeping of the law.
But God can always find the one good work that goes too far, in this case, surrendering all his money.
The rich man wouldn't do that, not out of greed, but out of the knowledge that he would then be helpless just like most of Jesus' disciples. Jesus said that this man "trusted in his riches."
His self-confidence and riches made him unlike a helpless little child, but only men helpless in themselves can trust in the Savior.
We must be careful not to despise those more helpless than us. Any self-reliance left in us as Saints is an illusion and a deterrent to our trusting completely in the power of Christ. No man, no matter how low, is too helpless for God's power to save!
John Pittman Hey was born in 1961 in Jackson, Mississippi, to Godly parents who from the beginning raised him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. With child-like faith he came to Christ on his fourth birthday at his mother's knee. He received his education at church school,...