The Youth’s Instructor


July 19, 1900

Mary's Offering

Part 2.


The commendation of Christ after the condemnation of the disciples was of inexpressible value to Mary. Christ could appreciate the gift as the expression of Mary's love, and her heart was filled with peace and happiness. YI July 19, 1900, par. 1

The disciples did not take in the many lessons given in the Scriptures in regard to the faith that works by love and purifies the soul; and the work of Mary was just the lesson they needed to show them that to be more demonstrative in their appreciation of their Lord, would be wholly acceptable to him. He had been everything to them. They did not realize that soon they would be deprived of his presence, that soon they could offer him no token of their appreciation of his love. The loveliness of Christ, separated from the heavenly courts, living a life of humanity, was never understood nor appreciated by the disciples as it should have been. He was often grieved because they did not give him that which he should have received from them. He knew that if they were under the influence of the heavenly angels that accompanied him, they, too, would be inspired with zeal and true devotion, and with entire consecration to the mind and will of God. They would regard no offering of sufficient value to declare the heart's spiritual affection. Their after-knowledge helped them to realize how many things they might have done for Jesus, expressive of the love and gratitude of their hearts, while they were near him, enjoying his counsel. When Jesus was no longer with them, and they felt as sheep without a shepherd, there were many things they began to understand. They saw how they might have offered him attentions and shown him favor on many occasions. Oh, if they could have taken it all back—this censuring, this presenting the poor as more worthy of the gift than Christ! They felt his reproof keenly as they took from the cross the bruised body of their Lord. YI July 19, 1900, par. 2

The same lack is evident in our world today. But few appreciate all that Christ is to them. If they did, the great and beautiful love of Mary would be expressed—the anointing would be freely bestowed. The expensive ointment would not be called a waste. YI July 19, 1900, par. 3

Jesus approved of Mary's gift as a testimonial of her love for her Master, who was constantly working in behalf of others, doing good to the poor, and speaking words of comfort to the oppressed. Those who have caught the inspiration of the love that will exist in every heart in the family of the redeemed host, will enter into the joy of their Lord. The spirit of peace and heavenly joy will fill the hearts of those who can appreciate the heavenly Gift. Christ, the world's Redeemer, fills their hearts with love. By faith they are made one with Christ, and their hearts are drawn out to him. They live in Christ, and Christ in them. Nothing is too costly to give him. No self-denial, no self-sacrifice, is too great to be made for his sake. YI July 19, 1900, par. 4

The words spoken in indignation, “To what purpose is this waste?” brought vividly to the mind of Christ the greatest sacrifice ever made,—the one that could not be surpassed,—the gift of himself to be the propitiation for the sins of a lost world. His entire life had been one of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Declaring his mission in Galilee, he said: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” The Lord would be so bountiful to his human family that it could be said of him that he could do no more. In the gift of Jesus to the world, he gave all heaven. His love is without a parallel. It did not stop short of anything. And having given us his only begotten Son, will he not with him also freely give us all things? YI July 19, 1900, par. 5

If left to be judged from a human point of view, such a sacrifice was a wanton waste; and well might the question be asked, Why does the Lord show such waste, such extravagance, in the multitude of his gifts? Well may the heavenly host look with amazement upon the human family, who cling to their rags of self-righteousness, and refuse to be clothed with the robe of Christ's righteousness,—refuse to be uplifted and enriched with the boundless love expressed in Christ. Well may they exclaim, Why is this great waste? YI July 19, 1900, par. 6

The supposed prodigality of Mary is an illustration of the method of God in the plan of salvation; grace and nature, related to each other, manifest the ennobling fullness of the source from which they flow. To human reason the whole plan of salvation is a waste of mercy. Self-denial and whole-hearted sacrifice meet us everywhere. But they are provided to accomplish the restoration of the moral image of God in man. The atonement for a lost world was to be full, abundant, and complete. Christ's offering was exceedingly abundant, reaching every soul that God had created. It could not be restricted nor measured so as not to exceed the number who would accept the great gift. All men are not saved; yet the plan of salvation is not a waste because it does not accomplish all that its liberality has provided for. There must be enough and to spare. YI July 19, 1900, par. 7

In the breaking of the alabaster box, in that the ointment filled the whole room with its fragrance, we have a representation of the sacrifice of Christ, which was to fill the whole world with the fragrance of infinite love. This action of Mary is never to lose its fragrance. This, which the disciples called waste, is repeating itself a thousand times to the susceptible hearts of others, telling ever the story of the abundant love of God for a fallen race. YI July 19, 1900, par. 8

Mrs. E. G. White