In Focus: Then comes the major story of this chapter. Jesus goes to dinner with a Pharisee. Let that soak for a moment. As much as He criticized Pharisees, He still ate with them. While they are having dinner, a woman comes in and washes His feet with her tears. Then she anoints His feet with perfume.
In Practice: Have you ever been in debt to moneylenders? I have, and still am. It’s a long story that involves a combination of bad choices and the housing market collapse. Suffice it to say, I could have much love for some financial institutions if they were forgiving. They are not—and don’t let anyone fool you, the “loss” that many banks have taken on mortgages is a “loss” of profits—on mine, they only made $25K in 4 years instead of $30K had it been paid off perfectly at sale. (Don’t worry, they were made “whole” through tax money approved in 2009.)
In Nerdiness: The biggest nerd item here is standard Synoptic Gospel questions: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all record an anointing of Jesus. Matthew, Mark, and John reference the anointing in the Passion Week and place it in Bethany. Luke’s event is geographically disconnected—He’s been in Capernaum and Nain, but we do not know where Jesus is in Luke 7.
Are these all tellings of the same event? Or does it occur more than once? If it is the same, then Mary (of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus) is the “sinful woman” of Luke 7. If it’s not the same, then one has other questions…this is why we read, and re-read. We learn as we go.