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Gospel accounts of a Woman anointing Jesus with oil,
three separate accounts, told in the four gospels.

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Matthew 26:6-13 Mark 14:3-9
6And when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 7a woman came to Him, having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head as He reclined. 8But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 9For this ointment might have been sold for very much and given to the poor. 10When Jesus understood it, He said to them, Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work on Me. 11For you have the poor with you always, but you do not always have Me. 12For in putting ointment on My body, she did it for My burial. 13Truly I say to you, Wherever this gospel shall be proclaimed in the whole world, that which this woman has done shall be spoken of also, for a memorial of her.   MKJV 3And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as He reclined, a woman came with an alabaster vial of pure, costly ointment of spikenard. And she broke the vial and poured it on His head. 4And some were indignant to themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? 5For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and be given to the poor. And they were incensed with her. 6And Jesus said, Let her alone! Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work towards Me. 7For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you desire you may do them good. But you do not have Me always. 8She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for the burying. 9Truly I say to you, Wherever this gospel shall be proclaimed in all the world, this also that she has done will be spoken of for a memorial of her.   MKJV
Luke 7:36-50
36And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. 37And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 38And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spoke within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that touched him: for she is a sinner.
Jesus speaks to Simon the parable of the two debtors.
44And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, See this woman? I entered into your house, you gave Me no water for My feet: but she has washed My feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45You gave me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46My head with oil you did not anoint: but this woman hath anointed My feet with ointment. 47Therefore I say to you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. 48And He said unto her, Your sins are forgiven. 49And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgives sins also? 50And he said to the woman, Your faith has saved you; go in peace.   MKJV
John 12:1-8
1Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was (who had died, whom He raised from the dead). 2Then they made a supper there for Him. And Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those reclining with Him. 3Then Mary took a pound of ointment of pure spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. 4Then said one of His disciples (Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who was to betray Him) 5Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor? 6 He said this, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief and held the moneybag and carried the things put in. 7Then Jesus said, Let her alone. She has kept this for the day of My burial. 8For you have the poor with you always; but you do not always have Me.   MKJV

The below table tells of the accountings in the four Gospels, Matthew's and Mark's account are of the same occurrence and Luke and John are separate accounts. There are three separate anointings in all.

Gospel where / when it happened description / outcome spoken anointed purpose by whom
Bethany, house of Simon the leper
right before last supper account
alabaster box of precious ointment
a good work, to be proclaimed
Jesus headfor My buriala woman
Bethany, house of Simon the leper
right before last supper account
alabaster box of precious spikenard
a good work, to be proclaimed
Jesus' headfor My buriala woman
house of Simon a Pharisees
before parable of the sower, early on
an alabaster box of ointment
her sins are forgiven
Jesus' feetwoman's faitha sinful woman
Bethany, home of Lazarus
6 days before passover
a pound of spikenard, very costly
but Me you have not always
Jesus' feetfor My burialMary of
Matthew's and Marks's gospel
  • Nothing is said about the woman's background, however she was bold enough to pour the ointment on His head, knowing her gift was worthy. His disciples claimed in Matthew's gospel it was wastefull and could have been sold for very much, in Mark's gospel some were indigant, calling it wate, setting a price on it at 300 denaries (more than 300 days wages).
  • A personal agenda for doing this is not given, the woman did this out of either obedience or gratitude, asking nothing in return.
  • Jesus said that wherever this gospel is proclaimed, this would be spoken of as a memorial to her.
  • Jesus said; the woman did what she could, Mark v8. God only asks for what we are able to do.
  • Both of these accounts take place after the triumphal entry, right before the keeping of the Passover with His disciples, Just days before Jesus was crucified.
Luke's gospel
  • This woman is referred to as a sinner, (most-likely a prostitute) and Jesus replied to her that your faith had save you, go in peace.
  • Jesus also used this as a teaching for Simon the Pharisees about, "loving little and loving much". Parable of the two debtors.
  • This woman must have had a revelation that Jesus was the Messiah, otherwise why would she do this? She must have a great faith that only Jesus could save her and bring to her a life of meaning and purpose.
  • Luke writes this account, before the parable of the sower is given, Luke 8:5, and the transformation of Christ, Luke 9:28, showing that this happened early in Jesus' ministry.
John's gospel
  • We know that the woman was Mary, the sister of Lazarus, John 11:2.
  • She did this for the day of His burial.
  • This account takes place in Bethany, one day before the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, John 12:12, 6 days before the passover and only days before Jesus was crucified.
  • Judas Iscariot puts a price on the ointment as 300 denarii (more than 300 days wages).