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Summary: From the world’s view Jesus was a failure. Jesus calls us to become a failure according to this world’s system and find success.

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When Failure is Success

-It’s not a disgrace to fail-

John 17:14-19

I came to faith in Jesus Christ when I was in my tenth grade of High School. I confessed my sins, repented and committed my life to Jesus. I did my best to honor and follow the Lord during my High School years. One of my class mates asked me what I did for fun. I told him I had fun playing tennis, basketball, hunting, swimming and fishing. He said, “What about sex, aren’t you having fun having sex with other girls.” I told him I was saving my sex life for the woman I married. He said that I was missing out on the good things in life.

To my friend being a Christian meant giving up more things than you gained as a Christian.

Carollyn worked for a Development Company in Indianapolis constructing apartment houses and Day Centers as part of the complex. Her boss called her a “Nun” because she refused to listen to his dirty jokes.

Jesus prayed in John 17:14-19 (New Living Translation)

I. According to this Worlds Standard Jesus was a Failure.

Jesus tried to tell his disciples that in the view of the world he would be looked at as a failure.

Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 16:21-23 that he was going to Jerusalem and he would suffer at the hands of the religious leaders, priests and teachers of the religious law. He would be killed but he would rise on the third day.

Peter took Jesus aside and corrected Him, “Heaven forbid Lord, this will never happen to you.” Jesus looked Peter in the eye and said, “Get away from, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, and not from God’s.”

Like Peter, many of us tend to see life on earth from a human point of view. What we need is to see all of life from God’s view.

Jesus experienced failure. Mark 6:1-6 – Jesus is preaching in his hometown of Nazareth. Jesus was teaching in the synagogue and the people who heard him questioned what he said. “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon and his sisters live right here among us. They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Because of their unbelief he could not do any mighty miracles among them. Jesus was amazed at their unbelief.

Isaiah 53:5 describes Jesus as one who was despised and rejected by the world.

From the world’s view Jesus was a failure. He didn’t set up an earthly Kingdom and bring peace on earth. He died on a cruel cross. He was rejected by both religious and non religious leaders of his day.

Jesus said to his disciples, “You are not of this world. So stop loving this world.” (John 15:19) “Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you.” (I John 2:15)

What did Jesus mean when he used the term “World?”

Was it the physical world? What you see – all that is visible – land, trees, mountains, rocks, flowers and the beauty of the earth. We appreciate God’s creation but Jesus was not talking about the physical world.


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