Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 252

Jesus Values Our Gifts of Loving Service, September 2

Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. Matthew 26:6, 7.

This incident is full of instruction. Jesus, the world's Redeemer, is drawing close to the time when He will give His life for a sinful world. Yet how little did even His disciples realize what they were about to lose. Mary could not reason upon this subject. Her heart was filled with pure, holy love. The sentiment of her heart was “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” This ointment, costly as it was estimated by the disciples, was but a poor expression of her love for her Master. But Christ could appreciate the gift as an expression of her love, and Mary's heart was filled with perfect peace and happiness.

Christ delights in the earnest desire of Mary to do the will of her Lord. He accepts the wealth of pure affection which His disciples did not, could not, understand.... Mary's ointment was the gift of love, and this gave it its value in the eyes of Christ.... Jesus saw Mary shrink away abashed, expecting to hear reproof from the One she loved and worshiped. But instead of this she hears words of commendation. “Why trouble ye the woman?” He said, “for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.” No other anointing would Jesus receive, for the Sabbath was nigh at hand, and they kept the Sabbath according to the commandment.... The desire that Mary had to do this service for her Lord was of more value to Christ than all the spikenard and precious ointment in the world, because it expressed her appreciation of the world's Redeemer. It was the love of Christ that constrained her....

Mary, by the Holy Spirit's power, saw in Jesus One who had come to seek and to save the souls that were ready to perish. Every one of the disciples should have been inspired with a similar devotion.—Manuscript 28, 1897.

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