by Ron Clarkson

This content is part of a series.

A Life of Contention (4 of 4)
The Incredible Life of Christ
Ron Clarkson
April 1, 1990

Father, we thank you for all the good things you have done for us, all the good things you provide for us. In your graciousness you provided Jesus Christ as your gift to humanity, the gift of life. You also gave us Jesus Christ as an example for us. The God of heaven became a human being so he could understand and sympathize with us, and we have a God that we can relate to more intimately. Jesus came to provide a relationship, not a religion. But there were those here on earth that were very uncomfortable with Jesus. They even despised him and hated him... and they were the "religious leaders", the Pharisees. Will you teach us through the life of Jesus about the contention he experienced and also teach us thru the life of those Pharisees who fought him every step of the way.

The children of a very prominent family decided to give their father a book of family history for his birthday. They hired a professional biographer to do the job but warned him about Uncle George, the black sheep in the family. They said, "Uncle George was executed in the electric chair, so please avoid mentioning him." The biographer assured them he could hide Uncle George so no one would be embarrassed. When asked how he would do that he said, "I'll just say that Uncle George occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution. Then I'll say that he was attached to this position by the strongest of ties and that death came as a real shock."

Almost everyone has an ancestral skeleton in their closet that they try to cover up behind a facade of perfection. Jesus was constantly in contention with a group of religious leaders that was filled with Uncle Georges... a group called the Pharisees.

The word "Pharisee" means "the separated ones." They were a fraternal order or religious society of leaders who attempted to cultivate a national and religious consciousness for ...

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