Seeing the blindness: divine objectivity
But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. (Luke 13:12, 13)
In order to be spiritually objective one must be personal. God is highly sensitive to and considers our individuality. Jesus sees our blindness from afar and perceives our myopia. He also considers our mistaken tendency to look in foolish and absurd spiritual directions in search of solutions. In some way, he will approach us and help us correct our vision. God’s purpose is specific. Jesus approached the bent-over woman and her problem in a specific manner for a specific purpose.
The most important element in this story is neither the woman nor her infirmity, nor even the amount of time that she had suffered because of it, but the fact that Jesus came to her. Whenever Jesus approaches us, he always comes in a personal way. His objective is to restore our objectivity. Jesus is not a force, neither of positive philosophy nor of eastern religious opinion. He is man’s creator and redeemer. He loves us intelligently and cares about each detail of our lives. Obviously, this woman’s dilemma was recorded in the Gospel account because it represents situations that occur in each of our lives. This passage demonstrates four ways that Jesus objectively comes into our lives:
Visual contact “when Jesus saw her”
This “encounter” with Christ was the most prophetic moment of this woman’s life. Jesus made visual contact with her through his gaze of compassion. He perceived her misfortune. When God comes to us, he always begins with an objective vision. After 18 years of suffering her chronic infirmity, her time for healing had come. She was at the right place at the right time. Even though we sometimes fail to perceive him, Jesus is with us and sees us. He not only sees us, but he also sees that which prevents us from seeing him!
Emotional contact “he called her to himself”
When Jesus sees us, he calls us. He approaches us and at the same time attracts us to himself. This demonstrates his emotional contact of compassion and understanding. He tapped into her ability to hear him in order to free her. Although she could hear him, she had a hard time directing her need for provision to him. The call of God may be ignored, but it is never misunderstood. God is an expert in communication.
Verbal contact “and said to her”
When Jesus calls us to himself, he tells us what he wants to do in and through us. This verbal contact (in whatever form it comes to us) restores our faith. He came to proclaim liberty to the captives declaring, “Woman you are loosed from your infirmity”. This word straightened her faith and then her body, knocking down all her unbelief and hopelessness in the process.
Physical contact “and he laid his hands on her”
When Jesus speaks to us, he also touches us supernaturally. This is not only the touch of the hand, but the touch of the heart, the touch of identification and the touch of healing. His touch will release power in our lives. Jesus passed something on to her. He imparted his grace upon the life of that woman. He demonstrated all of his empathy. In that moment, through faith in the sacrifice that he would yet make, Jesus took her infirmity upon himself: “and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God”.
So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound — think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?
This diagnostic aspect of God’s touch is extremely important. This woman’s situation was spiritually evil. Here we can perceive how Satan wants to destroy our vision, our dreams and principally are spiritual objectivity. The Bible relates how Satan tried to attacked the fulfillment of Joseph’s dream through his brother’s jealousy, how he attacked Mary’s vision by inspiring Herod to kill the children two years or younger, etc. Many times these terrible attacks will come in an indirect and subtle manner.
The purpose of this spirit of infirmity was to cause this woman to look to the ground of her life, casting her into an enslaving routine of inferiority and unbelief. Jesus described this woman’s situation as a “prison”, someone who Satan had kept prisoner. Lack of vision and spiritual objectivity is a type of bondage imposed by Satan. This woman had already served a sentence of 18 years of imprisonment in “Satan’s prison”.
What about you? How long have you been walking in circles looking at the ground of life, steeped in inferiority, idealizing your problems, licking your wounds and caressing your self-pity? We must discern these types of situations as much more than mere emotional difficulties: they are true demonic prisons. After 18 years, attending the same church there was still no one who could spiritually discern the source of and solution to this woman’s affliction. This is more than sad, it is shameful.
How many people are like this in our churches? Some of them have no idea that they are potential Satan worshipers, imprisoned and blinded by sensuality, disobedient to parents, full of religious hypocrisy and other iniquities that nurture terrible disorders of spiritual vision. Apart from a spiritually unfruitful existence, such believers end up easily manipulated by demonic forces becoming chronic hotbeds of confusion, rebellion and division.
A daughter of Abraham
This is perhaps the principal point at which we must wake up from our spiritual stupor. This woman was part of the church of that day. We must admit that in some way she was a faithful believer. Otherwise Jesus would not have called her a daughter of Abraham, an heiress of saving faith. From this story, we can diagnose one of the greatest evils that a person can go through from within the church: a vision compromised by the lack of spiritual objectivity.
History and destiny: structure and objectivity
There is a connection between our past and our destiny; between our structure and our objectivity. In some way, every human being has an innate desire to have direction and purpose of life. Why is it that in the church there are so many apathetic and spiritually sleepy members? Even though they possess the most powerful message of the world, able to change the eternal destiny of people, many hold on to life with no spiritual expectation. Again, we must learn to recognize this as demonic! An English atheist once said: “If this business of heaven and hell that Christians claim is really true, I would be willing to cross England on my knees in order to gain a single soul!” Unfortunately, most people who claim to be a Christian would not even cross the street to win a soul! Such is the evil reality of the lack of objectivity in so many believers’ lives!
A correct and healthy spiritual structure is based on a resolved past. Objectivity is the effect of the manifestation of this structure in a promising future full of expectation. Structure is the cause that brings objectivity as its effect. A body with no bone structure is nothing more than a pile of organs. Structure promotes form that provides the just and correct functioning of an organism. This woman had an unresolved past which manifested itself through a terrible deformation of her spinal column. Our vision will be just as defective or functional as our structure is.
We need divine knowledge and perspective with respect to our past, a deep encounter with the mercy of God. This will help us overcome traumas, learn new attitudes, examine values and patterns of behavior, correct spiritual errors to which we have been addicted far too long, shake off spiritual ticks and twitches that are nothing more than the manifestations of religious hypocrisy.
The correct question is not how long you have been in the church, but how great has the consciousness of eternity affected you. Many times we need to discover how fragile, vulnerable and incompetent we are.
What are you living for? Purpose and destiny are moral synonyms. By failing to answer this question, we declare the death of our faith. Faith without vision and objectivity is dead. Without vision the people perish. Without prophecy, they corrupt themselves. If we strive for nothing, we will achieve nothing! Without objectivity, we condemn ourselves to inactivity where idleness, depression, apathy, laziness, monotony, and frustration thrive. These things are all children of a small or selfish vision and lack of spiritual objectivity in life.
Lifting up our eyes
Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35). Few people understand and obey this commandment. Jesus was preparing his disciples to receive the promise of the Father: “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28) Visions, goals, objectives, dreams and prophecies are highly spiritual elements. These things come only through the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon all flesh.
Without the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in our lives, our conflict with our past and our uncertainty of the future will indelibly mark our present. It is tragic to see Spirit filled believers with no vision of eternal consequence, living a Christianity that amounts to mere “feelings of God’s presence”, looking merely to selfish interests and personal whims, tolerating a life devoid of bold projects, and blindly feeding on fantasies of conquests of future feats without the willingness to pay the least price.
To what extent does the story of this bent-over woman who could in no way raise herself up, correspond to your story? We must not lose sight of God’s promise of the outpouring of his Spirit upon us in prophecy, visions and dreams equipping us with objectivity, ability to develop far-reaching plans and strategies, and strong conviction of a consistent purpose for our lives. Objectivity is an indispensable attribute of vision. Objectivity is vision’s focus. Vision without objectivity becomes just as foggy and nebulous as a life without purpose.
A myopic bent-over vision
The lack of objectivity in prayer is invariably the result of the lack of spiritual objectivity in many aspects of life. A lack of spiritual objectivity is a type of spiritual myopia. This is a very important principle to examine. The ability to lift up your head can significantly change your history and give you a new perspective to your existence.
The Bible speaks of a woman who although she persevered for many years in the church had lost her objectivity and suffered spiritual myopia. The focus of her spiritual vision was adversely affected due to a structural trauma that she suffered. She was bent over by a spirit of infirmity.
Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”
The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound – think of it – for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” (Luke 13:10-16)
This woman represents those in the church that for some reason lose their ability to focus on God’s will. I believe that the principal aspect of vision is the spiritual objectivity through which we face life, the future and eternity. Vision without objectivity falls prey to Satan’s manipulation. This spiritual myopia becomes a servant of the enemy spiritually imprisoning many people .
This woman’s situation demonstrates more than anything else, how religiosity can cause people to be bent over with a distorted vision and spiritual myopia. The Pharisees with their legalistic notions were even more bent over than this unfortunate woman.
The Bible affirms, “Without vision, the people perish”. Much of the corruption that has jaded great ministries springs from this principle that people walk through life bent over with no spiritual objective in sight. Lack of objectivity wounds purpose and compromises destiny. We can observe four facts that reveal significant spiritual principles in this woman’s story.
This woman was spiritually myopic but not blind
It is important to understand the subtlety of this detail. Many people have vision, some have too much vision, but what they don’t have is objectivity. Vision without objectivity loses its practicality becoming empty, impractical or stubborn in a negative focus. Life becomes static and captive to the superficiality of laziness.
The principal objective of the enemy is not to blind us, but compromise our spiritual objectivity, tearing away our prophetic ability to focus and invest on the correct goal. In this way, people stop working towards the solution and begin to overburden the ministry and cause problems in the church. It seems like a universal principle that whoever does not produce fruit causes problems. This dynamic facilitates the action of the enemy against a ministry.
This woman may have even had 2020 vision, but it was subject to infirmity. Because of the fact that she was bent over her vision was poorly positioned. Something always pulled her vision down. The only view that she was predisposed to focus on was the ground at her own feet. Jesus called her bondage a prison of Satan.
Spiritual myopia and deformed structures
Structural problems always lead to other problems because of the simple matter of collateral effects. Some structural deformities can be so serious that one loses the ability to stand erect. The verse tells us that she “was bent over and could in no way raise herself up”. Perhaps with plenty of effort she would be able to see what was in front of her. Her vision was seriously compromised because of an infirmity that affected her physical structure.
The backbone or spine speaks of moral posture and character. Someone once joked that the Lions couldn’t eat Daniel because he had a lot of backbone. According to human anatomy, the bones of the spine are the hardest in the human body. Character is the backbone of the soul.
Just as the principal causes of physical crippling have to do with damage to the spine, in the same way, damage to our character cripples our spiritual life and vision. There is no way to separate these two things. Many traumas and abuses suffered in life end up conditioning our will to a sinful routine that corrupts the character, affects our sensitivity and distorts vision.
The biggest problem in the world today is not lack of resources as many insist and affirm, but a lack of character and absence of purpose. Society is running up a huge deficit of structural morality and objective vision contributing to an ever-expanding and universal experience of human suffering.
This chronic shortage of objectivity suffocates the desire to live and is one of the principle entryways through which depression enters and plagues a person. Depression is always founded upon a lack of hope. On the other hand, objectivity engenders a solid hope expressing the essence of faith and the desire to live.
Spiritual myopia and an unhealthy focus
If the spiritual structure is deformed, the focus becomes misdirected and thus unhealthy. It is important that we perceive spiritual problems and infirmities that compromise our vision and consequently our spiritual objectivity. Too often, these spiritual problems draw us into selfishness considering only our own interests and problems.
We can make a list of some of these basic aspects of the unhealthy focus of our vision. Selfishness is vision focused on our own interests; criticism is vision focused on our own disappointments; self-pity is vision focused on our weaknesses; inferiority is vision focused on our own inability; covetousness is vision unhealthily focused on our own desires and sensuality is vision unhealthily focused on our own feelings. The list goes on. This spiritual crookedness defines the essence of idolatry. This examination confirms the old destroying perspective of sin, which can be defined as “missing the mark”.
All of these sins affect the spiritual structure of life and deform our character forcing our eyes onto our own naval. For this reason God prophetically challenges us (Isaiah 58) to depart from ourselves, having a broken will and our soul completely open to the needs of others. Brokenness causes our life to spring forth with the solutions of God for a world in need. Isaiah uses figures like a watered garden and springs whose waters never cease. Only broken people can perceive other’s needs and the urgency of the kingdom of God. Brokenness is a great key for us to develop a prophetic structure that makes a life of objectivity and effectiveness possible.
Overcoming spiritual myopia through acceptance of diversity
God objectively looks at our lack of objectivity. We should thank Him for that. God is a personal being. The Bible calls him the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; a God of people and not a cosmic force. He is a person that objectively desires to relate to us.
In order to be objective we must respect uniqueness and value personality. An error in objectivity that many people frequently make is prioritizing “things” instead of “people”.
God also sees us as an individual in a crowd, before he calls us by name. It was God who planned and formed our identity. Everything in the moral world works personally and specifically. God treats us in a just and unique way. There is nothing more unjust than treating different people in the same manner. Such was the great mistake of the failed communist regime.
Objectivity in this sense can be defined as the capacity to evidence uniqueness and promote unity for the sake of diversity. Each person, with his unique characteristics, has the potential to fit in and interact with the universe of which he belongs. For this to happen, sensibility and empathy are necessary. Jesus was able to show compassion to the religious legalists despite their hard hearts, He was able to see the blindness of the blind, touch the lepers without contaminating himself and feel the insensibility of the insensitive. He knew how to objectively deal with the root of the problem in each person’s situation.
Overcoming spiritual myopia through positive influence
He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed. (Proverbs 13:20)
Unfortunately we live in a world where the majority of people are spiritually lost and for this reason are failing to properly live out their lives. We live in an age in which few people understand what life is and how we should live it. The proof of this is the number of people filling up the classes of psychology and a growing ocean of those who experiment with existentialism, new consciousness, new age, drugs, the occult, and so many other forms of alternate reality.
We must not abandon spiritual objectivity because most people have no defined spiritual purpose for their life. Unfortunately, people who do nothing that is spiritual always want someone to do nothing with them. We must be aware of the people who distance us from God’s purpose and those who draw us closer to it.