… A woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his (Jesus’) head. Mk 14:3
I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her. Mk 14:9
Jesus said “she has done a beautiful thing to me” Mk 14:6. Jesus also said “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” Mt 25:40. Whenever we do a kindness in Jesus’ name (because we love him and are directed by his Holy Spirit) we are doing exactly the same thing as this woman did to Jesus.
Nard was an oil used on one’s body to refresh. It was also a pleasant smelling perfume that was very costly to purchase. God also used oil to anoint his chosen ones 1 Sa 16:13. The spiritual significance of this woman pouring oil on Jesus’ head was not only as a sign of his future death for our sins on the cross, but also as a picture of the bride of Christ and her compassion for others, of which this woman is a type.
The adjective “pure” (nard) in Greek is “pistikos” which means pure, trustworthy, genuine or unadulterated. Nard gives off a pleasant aroma and we are told in Eph 5:2 to live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. We are exhorted to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God for this is our spiritual act of worship Ro 12:1. We can pour pure nard onto Jesus’ body by refreshing others with genuine love from pure motives: our love for Christ!
Jesus linked these good deeds to the preaching of the gospel Mk 14:9. It is God, who leads us to spread the fragrance of the knowledge of him. To those that receive our message, we are the aroma of Christ, a most pleasing smell of true life, but, to those who reject the gospel, we are the smell of death 2 Co 2:14,15.
The Holy Spirit is compared to the wind, we cannot see Him, but we see the results of his presence Jn 3:8.
Blow on my garden that its fragrance may spread abroad.
Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits SofS 4:16.
The spiritual meaning of this passage is that the bride of Christ is seeking the Holy Spirit, to come and control her life, and the fruit of the Spirit, which is produced, may spread into others’ lives. She wants Christ to taste her love for him, the fruit that she bore through his Holy Spirit.