Pure and Holy Sacrifice
Jesus did not say, “He who believes in Me will realize all the blessings of the fullness of God,” but, in essence, “He who believes in Me will have everything he receives escape out of him.” Our Lord’s teaching was always anti-self-realization. His purpose is not the development of a person— His purpose is to make a person exactly like Himself, and the Son of God is characterized by self-expenditure. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain but what He pours through us that really counts. God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us. Our spiritual life cannot be measured by success as the world measures it, but only by what God pours through us— and we cannot measure that at all.
When Mary of Bethany “broke the flask . . . of very costly oil . . . and poured it on [Jesus’] head,” it was an act for which no one else saw any special occasion; in fact, “. . . there were some who . . . said, ’Why was this fragrant oil wasted?’ ” (Mark 14:3-4). But Jesus commended Mary for her extravagant act of devotion, and said, “. . . wherever this gospel is preached . . . what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her” (Mark 14:9).