Summary: An exposition of Mark 6 focusing on Jesus’ "failure" to teach at Nazareth and what he actually taught to us in the process.

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Failure Is Not Fatal

Mark 6:1–13


Jesus taught a lesson in everything that he did during his earthly ministry. During both good times and bad, Jesus taught. In the text of Mark 6 we see Jesus using failure to teach us a lesson.


I. Accepting Failure Mark 6:1–5

A. Jesus came home to Nazareth as a rabbi (teacher).

1. Accompanied by his disciples.

2. He went to the synagogue to teach.

B. Jesus was rejected at the synagogue in Nazareth.

1. His rejection was based upon familiarity.

2. They knew Jesus from a boy.

C. Result of the Rejection was Failure.

1. Jesus was only able to heal a few sick people.

2. Jesus recognized and accepted this failure.

II. Keeping Focus Amid Failure Mark 6:6–10

A. Jesus was “amazed” at their lack of faith.

1. The word shows his extreme disappointment.

2. This reveals Jesus’ humanity in that he shares along with us; disappointment, frustration, setbacks. Heb. 2:14–17

B. Jesus still had something to give.

1. The people still needed what Jesus had to give.

2. Jesus changed from teaching in synagogues to going where ever they would listen. Mark 6:6b

C. The Failure at Nazareth signaled the beginning of the Apostle’s journeys.

III. Using Failure Mark 6:11–13

A. Jesus statement: The rabbinic laws said that dust from a Gentile or pagan country was defiled. A Jew, walking back into his own country from one of these was to purge himself of any dust that might be on his clothing.

B. Jesus was not saying to quit when it gets rough or to reject those who reject you.

C. Jesus was saying go in spite of your failures.


Do you have dust on your feet? Dust from past failures, ineffectiveness or incomplete plans?

Shake it off. Leave the past and your future to God.

Philippians 3:13

Mitchell Skelton, Minister–Midway church of Christ

Sermon adapted from “Mark: Introduce us to the Master” by Joe Schubert

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