Whether Mary had apprehended the fact of the Lord's rejection and of His approaching death is not revealed; but it is clear from these words that He was more entirely the object of her heart at this moment than of any one of His disciples, and consequently that she understood more fully what was passing around Him. The following remarks, if duly weighed, will, we judge, interpret for the reader the significance of Mary's act: "Mary had tasted the word of the Lord: that word, full of love and light, had penetrated her heart. Jesus had given her back her beloved brother. She saw the hatred of the Jews rise against Him whom she loved, and who had introduced into her heart the feeling of divine love; in proportion as the hatred rose, her affection for the Saviour rose too, and gave it courage to show itself. It was the instinct of affection, which felt that death was casting its shadow over Him who was the life, as Jesus felt it also - the only case in which Jesus found sympathy on earth. The Lord gives to Mary's act, instinctive fruit of affection and of devotedness, a voice that came from His divine intelligence: what she had done she had done for His burial." It was thus the Lord's own estimate of the value of her act - an act, however, which could only have proceeded from one who was in communion with His own mind and heart in His then circumstances an act therefore expressive of absorbing affection and devotedness. The difference between the accounts in Matthew and in this gospel - the ointment in the former being poured on His head, and in the latter on His feet - is explained by the respective characteristics of the presentation of Christ in these gospels. In Matthew He is seen as the Messiah, and hence, as God's anointed One, the ointment is put upon the head; in John, where He is presented as the Word, and as the eternal Son, His feet are anointed - significant of worship - the worship due to Him from all His redeemed. All the details of the scene are full of blessed instruction for the Lord's people; and the more they ponder upon them, the more they will admire the Lord's unspeakable grace.
2 Cor. 5:10.
It is asked if the deeds, the sins of a believer before conversion, will be brought up before the judgment-seat of Christ. As sins they will not be, for the testimony of the Holy Ghost is, "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more"; and before the believer is "manifested" before the judgment-seat of Christ, he will have been conformed to the image of his glorified Lord. There could not be therefore any further question as to guilt. But this does not preclude an entire review of the actions, though sins when they were done, of the whole of a believer's life in this world. The language of this scripture is, "That everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." This, we think, conveys the thought that all the deeds of which the body has been the instrument will be exposed to the action of the light. No limit of time, whether before or after conversion, is given, it is simply the deeds of the body and we conclude therefore that the Lord in His tender grace will show to us the spring and motive of all our deeds, that with Him (for there we shall be in fullest fellowship with His own mind) we may perceive their true character. With Him we shall rejoice at the condemnation of every work of the flesh, and with Him we shall also rejoice at every little service which calls forth His approbation, while at the same time we shall magnify Him for the grace which produced it and which enabled us to render it. What has been of ourselves we shall wholly reject, and what has been of Himself will beget in us thanksgiving and praise Many a parent, after he has completely forgiven
child for some disobedient act, and restored him to a sense of his favour and love, will talk over and explain to him his failure. So in a more perfect way, when we are manifested before the judgment-seat of Christ, He will go over our past lives, pass everything under review, and the issue will be that we shall understand in a new way that it is by grace alone we have been saved; and when He deigns to recompense us for anything which He Himself wrought in and through us, our hearts will overflow with adoration as we perceive the wondrous character of His perfect love.
The more we exalt Christ, the more fully we are in communion with the mind and heart of God.