Using Kids to Coach Adults

Mark 10

Key Verse | Mark 10:14-15

But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; 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."

Scripture | Mark 10

Teaching About Divorce

And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again. And again, as was his custom, he taught them.

And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 1 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Let the Children Come to Me

13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

The Rich Young Man

17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is 2 to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, 3 “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time

32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”

The Request of James and John

35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 4 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave 5 of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus

46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.


[1] 10:7 Some manuscripts omit and hold fast to his wife
[2] 10:24 Some manuscripts add for those who trust in riches
[3] 10:26 Some manuscripts to one another
[4] 10:43 Greek diakonos
[5] 10:44 Or bondservant, or servant (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)

Using Kids to Coach Adults

Devo | Mark 10

Mark 10 features Jesus utilizing several "coachable moments" for instruction, but in Mark 10:13-16 He uses the way His disciples sought to turn away children to share a couple truths I need to be...

Mark 10 features Jesus utilizing several "coachable moments" for instruction, but in Mark 10:13-16 He uses the way His disciples sought to turn away children to share a couple truths I need to be reminded of often:

We're all on a level playing field. It's not difficult to imagine some reasons why the disciples rebuked those people bringing the kids: maybe the disciples were worried the kids would be a distraction or a bit annoying, or maybe they viewed them as unimportant. We've likely felt such things ourselves, even if not about kids. How often do we avoid someone because they might be a distraction to our situation or pass off someone in our minds because they don't fit the vibe we're looking for? When was the last time we wrote someone off because on some level they didn't matter as much to us as someone or something else? There's just no place for it (James 2:1-13). Jesus makes it very clear that the kingdom of God belongs to such as these children (Mark 10:14). It belongs to everyone! And not only that, Jesus remains the One to which everyone must "come" in order to have eternal life.

The posture of a child is what we're called to imitate. We must receive the kingdom of God like a child. What does that look like (see also Matthew 18:3-4)? When I think about the littles in our home, it's this: trust, vulnerability, and humility to a level of acknowledged helplessness: "Daddy, I need help." When it comes to the gospel, we must get past the grizzled, independent, can-do attitude we sometimes develop in adulthood and "receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21). Jesus is telling us adults to look more like kids in this regard!

In Watermark Kids, we never want to have a "wait until they're older" attitude; instead, we want to be a place where every kid is seen and welcomed, taught about Jesus, and kept safe and secure. Come hang with us and be a part of this amazing work! I have a feeling you'll learn a few things along the way as well.

Discussion Questions

1. When was the last time you rejected, wrote off, or avoided someone? How did you justify it at the time?

2. What does it look like to have the "faith of a child"? How closely does it resemble your own faith in this season?

Meet Sean Hill

It's my joy to be in God's Word with you today! Among my other joys:

  • Husband to my wonderful wife of five years;
  • Dad to two amazing girls;
  • Leading the talented and passionate Watermark Kids Team; and
  • Most importantly, knowing God through a personal relationship with Jesus.

8 Comments available

Hugh Stephenson 1 day ago

GM Sean! THANK YOU for your leadership on the kids team. What a joy it is to have so many of them running all over the church. Few things are better than to hear their delighted laughs and squeals.

Love your idea of “coachable moments”. I give Jesus many of those.

Thinking more and more about discipleship-

I take note that this chapter begins with Jesus setting out for his final journey towards Jerusalem. To know the fate that lies before Him and yet to walk right to it is faithfulness to which I can only aspire.

The talks on wealth and humility are what really help me see how He conveys the right orientation of my heart.

Hugh Stephenson 1 day ago

I love the story of the child who is placed in the car seat in the back seat of the car and just quietly sits and looks out the window as the parents drive down the road. Not knowing, but fully trusting.

Mark 10:16 I am taught that this level of embracing and blessing children was quite a statement. If they are this loved and valued while having done nothing for Him then how much more am I if I am a faithful disciple?

The challenge for me is the amount of worldly stuff I put in between me and Him. They have nothing so nothing hinders them.

Sooner or later the searing light of God’s righteous is all I’ll see. Then what. All my possessions and achievements will be like the dirty rags of Isaiah 64:6.

Hugh Stephenson 1 day ago

What I see in reading and studying this chapter is that once again my enemy is my love of self.

“Don’t seek to be yourself or to know yourself or to get be your perfect self- seek to surrender self”

The temptations to chase what this world offers is a powerful force drawing me in. It’s clear how powerful this “down escalator” is. I must run “up” with all my might.

“No man ever became holy by chance. There must be a resolve, a desire, a panting, a pining after obedience to God, or else we shall never have it.”

Jermaine Harrison 1 day ago

Love this, Sean! Like you mentioned, the humility that children possess, knowing they need help should mark us as Christians. We need help every moment of every day. Without God, we can do nothing (John 15:5). And when God gives us opportunities to lead and disciple others, we should view that leadership position as a serving opportunity, because that’s what a true, humble leader does.

Sue Bohlin about 23 hours ago

Oh Sean. LOVED how you described the faith of a child: “trust, vulnerability, and humility to a level of acknowledged helplessness: ‘Daddy, I need help.’”

Thank you, thank you.

I was struck by the encounter with the rich young ruler who loved his stuff too much to follow Jesus–He told him to sell his stuff and give the money (which was his first love and his idol) to the poor, and he would have treasure in heaven. Jesus was offering to trade his Monopoly money for gold, but he loved the fake stuff too much. And he had no concept of an eternal perspective.

Lord, open our eyes to see things as they truly are, instead of being smitten by the fake stuff of this earth that will burn!

Michael Scaman about 20 hours ago

Being child like is good in some respects. Childish is bad.

Being a servant to all is more mature than child like and definitely not childish.

Michael Scaman about 20 hours ago

Blind Bartimaeus asked for mercy and got it. Although blind he had an unusual insight. Jesus was a fulfillment of the promises to King David.

CHRISTOPHER LANDRY about 10 hours ago

Sean - good to see your face this morning! As dads with young kids, I believe you and I have a front row seat to the gospel-centric message that we must all be quick to recognize our need for Daddy’s help. To your point, this is a fundamental heart posture of every Christian.

Not a day can sneak by where I am able to do this life honorably on my own strength. I can be like the rich young ruler that’s gripped by this world’s offerings or like the Pharisees or rulers that lord over others instead of serving.

Daddy, please help me today. With meditation day and night (Psalm 1:2) I am can be marked by humility (not hardness of heart - Mark 10:5), servant-leadership (Mark 10:44-45), and faith (Mark 10:47,52).

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