Henri Nouwen was an Ivy-League professor in the late 20th century, one of the most famous in the realm of religion in the 1970s. But at the high point of his career, he left academia and began working with mentally-handicapped adults. I believe Nouwen understood Matthew 18:1-14, that to truly see as God sees, a person must stoop down to a place of humility. The world says proper vision is found by climbing the corporate ladder or doing whatever it takes to get on top. But Christ calls us to humble ourselves like little children to enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens. Then, as we bend down, we begin to see with Christ-like eyes. We desire to serve the vulnerable, the weak; we do everything in our power to protect and bless other brothers and sisters in Christ ("little ones," Matthew 18:5-6). Christ lowered Himself and became a servant: "For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life away as a ransom for many" (Mk. 10:45). All those who follow in Christ's footsteps must stoop down to receive His grace and forgiveness, and then we are invited (commanded) to stay low, bending and straining to have eyes to see who we might serve in this lost and hurting world.
O Lord, keep us from climbing mountains of personal fame and glory to our shame; rather, let us delightfully humble ourselves to receive Your grace and stay low to be a servant for the glory of your Name.
I left out this particular point in the sermon I preached yesterday. If you'd like to hear the rest of the sermon from Matthew 18, "Who is the Greatest?" check out: http://cornerstone-marion.org/sermons/11-0306_~Who_is_the_Greatest_~Matt_18_(Matt_Proctor).mp3