“Keeping the commandments is not just about behavior, but about relationships.”


Chapter 3, Page 22 –

The third “C” stands for the Commandments. (This one may stretch you just a bit, but let’s try it.)

Have you ever eaten a box of Cracker Jack? Do you remember what was in the box, besides the carameled popcorn and the peanuts?  Yes, a prize. Do you remember tipping up the box and trying to find the prize before eating all the Cracker Jack? Well, this third “C” has a prize hidden in it – another “C.” While we talk a bit more, see if you can guess what the hidden prize is.

When asked directly “What is the great commandment in the Law,” what did Jesus say?  

He quoted the Scriptures in Deuteronomy 6:5, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” and Leviticus 19:18 – “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” And I can handle the sentiments of these two commandments. But Jesus bumps it up another notch when He adds: “I want you to be perfect, just like your Father in Heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

I don’t know about you, but I think that this box of Commandment Cracker Jack is hard to swallow. (Do you like Cracker Jack? I always thought it was dry and a bit choke-y myself.)

Paul also found Commandment Cracker Jack hard to swallow, this business about trying to be good, about trying to be perfect. In Romans 7:14-18 Paul said: “I want to be good . . . and I even know what to do to be good . . . but I can’t seem to do it.”  

Yes, I get the part about burying my waste in the desert. I can even deal with the good and bad food selections – most of the time. But when it comes to loving my neighbor, I’m in trouble.

I can’t help but ask, Doesn’t Jesus know who I am?  Doesn’t Jesus know that I’m one of those human beings that’s described in Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately wicked; who can understand it?” Doesn’t Jesus know that I’m like Peter who said: “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man”? Can you relate to this? Do you know what this is like? Do you know who you are?

Oh, by the way, have you found the prize in this box of Commandment Cracker Jack yet? No? Okay, keep looking.