There are reasons that would make people believe that Luke modified Mark’s Gospel. The book of Luke was written after the book of Mark; therefore, it is likely that Luke used Mark as a source. The book of Luke and the book of Mark are not identical but have a lot of similarities in both the language used and their contents. This somehow suggests that Luke may have written the book of Luke referring from Mark.
The story in Mark 14:3-9 describes the story of Jesus’ anointing by an identified woman when he was dining in the house of a man known as Simon the Leper. The woman used a very costly perfume to anointed Jesus. According to New International Version this perfume was made of pure nard and was in an alabaster jar. Some of the people who were present in the house were asking why she used such an expensive perfume. They argued that this perfume could be sold expensively and the money shared with the poor. However, Jesus defended the woman. He said that she has done a wonderful job and that the poor will always be in existence even in his absence. He further explained to the people that the anointing of his body was in preparation for his burial and that the act done by the woman will be told over and over again when preaching the gospel (New International Version).
The story in Luke 7:36-50 describes how a sinning woman came to a Pharisees house where Jesus had been invited for dinner and wept at his feet then began to wipe her tears on his feet using her hair. She kissed them and poured on them perfume which was in an alabaster jar. The Pharisee said to himself if he was a prophet he would have known who this woman was and that she is a sinner. Jesus while answering the Pharisee referred to him as Simon (New International Version). The story in Luke 7:36-50 is edited because in Mark the woman was unidentified while in Luke she was referred to as a sinful woman. The man in Mark was not mentioned as a Pharisee like the man in Luke but both share the name Simon.
The first reason as to why Luke would have edited the story is to make it fit the message he was to convey. The two stories though had similarities were conveying different messages. The first one was to portray a prophetic understanding that Jesus is the anointed king who would suffer and die while the one in Luke passed a message of forgiveness (Muddiman 170). The second reason as to why Luke may have edited Mark’s story is because they portrayed the women’s roles differently. He integrated women’s stories with Jesus ministry and in his stories he showed how Jesus respected women.
The story in Mark 3:31-35 narrates Mary the mother of Jesus together with his brothers were standing outside. They sent someone to call Jesus. However, when Jesus was called, he asked who his mother and brothers were. He gazed at the people who sat around him and stated that they were his mother and brothers. He went on to explain that his mother and brothers are those that do God’s will (New International Version). Luke 8:19-21, however, narrates that Jesus’ mother and brothers were unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd after coming to see him. When Jesus was informed by someone that his mother and brother were standing outside wanting to see Him, he answered that his mother and brothers were the people who take in God’s word and practice what it says (New International Version).
Luke would have edited Mark’s Gospel for the reason that, he was avoiding to portray a negative image of Jesus’ family as it came out in Mark. Jesus emphasized that his family was those seated with him in Mark which was omitted by Luke. Another reason as to why Luke would have edited Mark’s gospel is to avoid painting a negative image on women whom he held highly in his Gospel as he displayed them as an important part of Jesus’ mission.