Key Texts: Luke 7:11, 36-50 & John 12:1-8
It is easy to confuse the texts and see them as the same event or just two events. If we consider the synonomy of Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9. It becomes even more confusing, but as we compare the differences and similiarities, we can possibly see that there are actually three different events taking place, which every gospel writer comments upon.
Luke John Matthew & Mark
Near Nain in Galilee In Bethany nr Jerualem In Bethany nr Jerusalem
Simon, Pharisees House Mary & Martha’s House Simon, The Lepers House
Much Earlier Before Triumphal Entry After Triumphal Entry
Parable told to Simon Disciples Addressed Disciples Addressed
Sinning Woman of City Mary the Sister of Lazarus ‘a woman’
Upon Feet with tears Upon Feet, NO tears At Head, no tears
Woman forgiven Mary Guarded & burial mentioned Memorial & Burial
No price of oil 300 denarii Judas quoted Disciples value oil
Alabaster Flask No Flask Alabaster Flask
Isaiah 61:1-3, is what Jesus read in the Synagogue at Nazareth (Lk 4:18-19), and it mentions the “oil of joy” replacing mourning, as a response to the Spirit anointing the Messiah. Here in all four gospels, oil may be symbolic of God’s Holy Spirit and in each anointing we have humble women exalting the holiness and forgiveness they see in Jesus. Kingship in Israel was always instigated by the anointment of oil, see 1st Sam. 16:13 in the example of David. It is interesting to note that David is the only King, Jesus quotes. David is also the only King mentioned in Hebrews 11, the chapter of heroic faith. Could the women in the gospels be used by God to remind Jesus that His Kingship has a future rule to be exercised after his burial? The people certainly try to treat Him like a King upon his entry into Jerusalem. But the sentiment of His Kingship is twisted in a false charge against him during his trial before Pilate. Obviously from our perspective today, we need to remember that our place and duty is to exalt Jesus as holy and royal. This good news, is memorialized by an unknown woman, do we see ourself here in this message, pointing people to Jesus?