Scandalous behavior

Luke 7:36–8:3

Each of the four Gospels tells about the woman who anoints Jesus while he is at table, and in each Gospel someone sharply rebukes her for her action. But Luke is unique: unlike event as told the other three Gospels, the act of anointing as told in Luke does not portend Jesus’ death. Instead, hospitality and table fellowship are the recurrent themes, and they are a clue to the meaning of this parable. The woman in Luke enacts radical (and offensive) hospitality even as she crashes the party. She incarnates an extravagantly gracious (and scandalous) welcome as she washes Jesus’ feet with her tears, dries them with her hair, kisses them with her lips and finally anoints them with oil.


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