During Jesus’ time, people ate not at a high table like we do today, but reclining at a much lower table (inches off the ground). In this way, it would be easy for someone next to you to lean (back) on your chest (see Jn 13:23-26).
In addition, a woman could be standing behind Jesus (since people had their feet placed behind them as they faced the table on their sides at an angle), but still be at His feet before she leaned down wiping them with her hair. This as the first of three times a woman anoints Jesus with oil, see Lk 7:38-39 and below.
The Jesus Gospel© References:
|Jn 13:23-24||Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.|
|Jn 13:25-26||He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it.” And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.|
|Lk 7:38-39||And 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. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, “This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.”|
Three times a woman anointed Jesus with oil. 1) Ch 5, Pg. 51, Lk 7:38-39, in a Pharisees home during a meal, a crying woman only identified as a sinner, kisses and washes Jesus feet with her tears and hair. She also anoints his feet with an alabaster box of ointment. 2) In h 17, Pg. 138, Jn 12:1, in Lazarus, Martha, and Mary’s home. While Martha prepared served the meal, Mary “took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly” and anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the smell of the ointment. This is also referenced as a future event the KJV places in parenthesis in Ch 15, Pg. 124, Jn 11:2-4). 3) In JGV Ch 19, Pg. 162, Mt 26:6-13, Mk 14:3-9, Jesus is in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper eating a meal. Another unidentified woman with an “alabaster box of very precious ointment” pours in on Jesus’ head.
(JGV = The Jesus Gospel Version, the blended text of the Gospels)