The account of The Anointing at Bethany is found in Jn 12:1-11, Mt 26:6-13 and Mk 14:3-9. In that account Jesus is anointed by Mary, Martha’s sister, with expensive perfume. Judas was especially upset by Mary’s ‘waste of money’. According to Mt and Mk, Judas immediately goes to the chief priests to turn Jesus in. The anointing of Jesus at Bethany was seemingly Judas’ last chance before the betrayal to repent of his greed and love of money.
Preceding the anointing at Bethany are several parables about the right way to handle money and wealth, and one conversion story of a wealthy tax collector named Zacchaeus. This conversion happened as Jesus passed through Jericho just before he got to Bethany, which is just outside of Jerusalem.
The account of Zacchaeus’ conversion is unique to Luke’s gospel. And interestingly, Luke is the only gospel that doesn’t have the account of Jesus’ anointing at Bethany. But preceding the account of Zacchaeus in Luke, Jesus tells the parable of a repentant tax collector, and a rich official who cannot give up his money in order to follow Jesus.
The parable of the tax collector foreshadows Zacchaeus’ conversion. And the parable of the rich official is in contrast to Zacchaeus, who gives away half of his fortune and promises to pay four fold reparations to anyone that he had cheated.
In between those two parables and the account of Zacchaeus’ conversion is an account of the healing of a blind man. This account is also in Mt. The footnotes in Mt say that this account is, “probably symbolic of what will happen to the disciples, now blind to the meaning of Jesus’ passion…” That blindness would of course include Judas’.
I thought that these series of events in the Gospels could have been a warning to Judas. Events and parables which happened on the way to Jerusalem that together formed a warning for Judas to give up his love for money. So I’m left wondering if these events were indeed warnings for Judas. But still, they would have been warnings that Jesus knew Judas would not heed. Nevertheless it would make sense that Jesus would give Judas every opportunity to see his own shortcomings.