Luke 7:36-38 gives an account of how Simon, a Pharisee, invited Jesus to dinner and an unknown woman came and anointed Him. But in John 12:1-3 an account is given of Lazarus and his sisters inviting Jesus to their house and Mary anointing Him. Are these two different accounts or the same account told in different ways?
The moment recorded in Luke 7 and that recorded in Matthew 26/Mark 14/John 12 are different moments, and the context of each account makes the differences clear. For example:
These differences make it impossible to reconcile the two accounts into a single moment. Therefore, we conclude Luke alone recorded an early moment in Jesus' ministry when a prostitute came to Jesus in repentance, while the other three Gospels recorded a separate moment when Mary anointed Jesus in preparation for His death. These two occasions share several similarities, but the differences between the accounts make clear they are not the same.