It is very needful to bear in mind, in this
day of busy doing and restless activity, that God looks at everything
one stand point, measures everything by one rule, tries everything by
touchstone, and that touchstone, that rule, that standpoint is Christ.
He values things just so far as they stand connected with the Son of
love, and no farther. Whatever is done to Christ, whatever is done for
Him, is precious to God. All beside is valueless. A large amount of
may be done, and a great deal of praise drawn forth thereby, from human
lips; but when God comes to examine it, He will simply look for one
and that is, the measure in which it stands connected with Christ. His
question will be, Has it been done in, and to the Name of Jesus? If it
it will stand approved, and be rewarded; if not, it will be rejected
by C. H. Mackintosh
It does not matter in the least what men's thoughts may be about any
particular piece of work. They may laud a person to the skies, for
something he is
doing; they may parade his name in the public journals of the day; they
may make him the subject of discourse in their drawing room circle; he
may have a great name as a preacher, a teacher, a writer, a moral
but, if he cannot connect his work with the name of Jesus - if it is
done to Him and to His glory - if it is not the fruit of the
love of Christ, it will all be blown away like the chaff of the summer
floor, and sunk into eternal oblivion.
On the contrary, a man may pursue a quiet, humble, lowly path of
service, unknown and unnoticed. His name may never be heard, his work
be thought of; but what has been done, has been done in simple love to
Christ. He has wrought, in obscurity, with his eye on his Master. The
of his Lord has been quite enough for him. He has never thought, for
moment, of seeking man's approval; he has never sought to catch his
or shun his frown; he has pursued the even tenor of his way, simply
to Christ, and acting for Him. His work will stand. It will be
and rewarded, though he did not do it for remembrance or reward, but
simple love to Jesus. It is work of the right stamp - genuine coin
will abide the fire of the day of the Lord.
It is an unspeakable mercy to be delivered from the time-serving,
men-pleasing spirit of the present day; and to be enabled to walk, ever
and only before the Lord - to have "all our works begun, continued, and
ended in Him."
Let us look, for a few moments, at the lovely and most touching
of this, presented to us in "the house of Simon the leper, there came
Him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and
it on His head, as He sat at meat." Now, if we inquire as to this
object, as she bent her steps to Simon's house, what was it? Was it to
the exquisite perfume of her ointment, or the material and form of her
alabaster box? Was it to obtain the praise of men for her act? Was it
to get a name for extraordinary devotedness to Christ, in the midst of
a little knot
of personal friends of the Savior? No, reader, it was none of these
How do we know? Because, the Most High God, the Creator of all things,
knows the deepest secrets of all hearts, and the true motive spring of
action - He was there in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
His holy and all-penetrating eye went right down into the very depths
of this woman's soul. He knew, not only what she had done, but, how and
why she had done it; and He declared, "She hath wrought a good work
me." In a word, then, Christ Himself was the immediate object of this
soul; and it was this which gave value to her act, and sent the odor of
her ointment straight up to the throne of God.
He not only vindicated her at the moment, but handed it down into the
future. This was quite enough for the heart of this woman. Having the
of her Lord, she could well afford to bear the "indignation" even of
disciples," and to hear her act pronounced "waste." It was sufficient
her that His heart had been refreshed. All the rest might go for what
was worth. She had never thought of securing man's praise, or of
his scorn. Her one undivided object, from first to last, was Christ.
the moment she laid her hand upon that alabaster box, until she broke
and poured its contents upon His sacred Person, it was of Himself alone
she thought. She had a kind of intuitive perception of what would be
and grateful to her Lord, in the solemn circumstances in which He was
at the moment, and, with exquisite tact, she did that thing. She had
thought of what the ointment might fetch; or, if she had, she felt that
He was worth ten thousand times as much. As to "the poor," they had
place, no doubt, and their claims also; but she felt that Jesus was
to her than all the poor in the world.
In short, the woman's heart was filled with Christ, and it was this
that gave character to her action. Others might pronounce it "waste;"
may rest assured that nothing is wasted which is spent for Christ. So
woman judged: and she was right. To put honor upon Him, at the very
when earth and hell were rising up against Him, was the very highest
of service that man or angel could perform. He was going to be offered
up. The shadows were lengthening, the gloom was deepening, the darkness
thickening. The cross - with all its horrors - was at hand; and this
anticipated it all, and came, beforehand, to anoint the body of her
Lord. And mark the result. See how immediately the blessed Lord enters
her defense, and shields her from the indignation and scorn of those
ought to have known better. "When Jesus understood it, he said unto
Why trouble ye the woman? 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
she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.
I say unto you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world,
this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."
See that you keep your eye directly upon the Master, in all you do.
Make Jesus the immediate object of every little act of service, no
matter what. Seek to do your every work so He may be able to say, "It
is a good work
upon me." Do not be occupied with the thoughts of men as to your path
as to your work. Do not mind their indignation or their
but pour your alabaster box of ointment upon the person of your Lord.
that your every act of service is the fruit of your heart's
of Him; and be assured He will appreciate your work and vindicate you
Thus it was with the woman of whom we have been reading. She took her
alabaster box, and made her way to the house of Simon the leper, with
goal in her heart, namely, Jesus and what was before Him. She was
in Him. She thought of none beside, but poured her precious ointment on
His head. And note the blessed issue. Her act has come down to us, in
gospel record, coupled with His blessed Name. No one can read the
without reading also the memorial of her personal devotedness.
Empires have risen, flourished, and passed away into the region of
silence and oblivion. Monuments have been erected to commemorate human
greatness, - and these monuments have crumbled into dust; but the act
this woman still lives, and shall live forever. May we have grace to
Reference Used: Things New and Old by C. H. Mackintosh