While growing up in the 70’s there was still a time when polka music could still be heard on the radio. Every Sunday morning my mother would turn on the radio and listen to polka music as we were getting ready for church. Later on in life I pastored a small country church where the largest most attended service in town was when the local Catholic church would hold their polka mass. Hard to believe, but there are still pockets of people in small towns who still considered themselves from “the old country.” There was one song in particular I would hear quite often (besides Roll Out the Barrel). It was Looking Back to See. The chorus goes:
• I was looking back to see if you were looking back to see
If I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me
You were cute as you could be standing looking back at me
And it was plain to see that I’d enjoy your company
I recently did a funeral service, and I was giving hope for the ressurection and quoted the following passage:
- Matthew 22:29-33 NASB – 29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31 “But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: 32 ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” 33 When the crowds heard [this,] they were astonished at His teaching.
The Pharisees and Sadducees had approached Jesus with a question of the ressurection by relating an illustration of a wife who had seven husbands. So whose wife will she be in the ressurection? It always intrigued me the ingenuity of the story until I recently read that Dr. Michael Heiser referenced this an historical event of early Jews regarding a casting out of demons. Today we would call this a power encounter. So on the surface it seems that they are coming to Jesus with just a question about the ressurection, but they are also seeking validity of such ministerial events. That is why Jesus’ first response is “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.” His answer to the resurrection seems like a side note of “and by the way . . .”
Notice his response, they do not understand the Scriptures (doctrine) nor the power of God (miracles). He slaps them both down.
While it is true both point to Him:
- John 5:39 NASB – 39 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;
- John 14:10-11 NLT – 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.
Both are insufficient as God’s stamp of approval.
- John 5:40 NASB 40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.
- John 2:23-25 NASB – 23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. 24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, 25 and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.
The unspoken theology is that if believe the right things or do the right things than we must be a true disciple.
There is only one thing that Jesus says marks us as true disciple:
- John 13:35 NASB – 35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
As much as polka music is frowned upon and looked down as parody fodder by Weird Al, that song should be a very poignant question about our walk with Jesus.
Are we looking back to see if Jesus is looking back at me!?! It is one thing to live a life that points to Jesus, but the real question is are we living a life that Jesus can point to us! Remember, of all the people on earth, God could tell others about the life Job leads. Not once, but twice God brags about his servant:
- Job 1:8 ESV – 8 And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”
- Job 2:3 ESV – 3 And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”
Since starting this blog though I always encouraged us to love much, I have never been so aware of my falling short in the area of love. However, I do not loose heart but realize that God is answering my prayer. After all, how can I learn to love much unless I know how much I need to love?
So I ask each of you to consider, “Are you looking back to see if he is looking back at you?”
As always, love much my friends . . .