Luke 19:1-10 Zacchaeus, the parable of the rich man, the parable of the tax collector ~ a prelude to Judas’ last chance

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.

Luke 19:1-10


I don’t mean to bother @1Lord1Faith, I want to say this perspective with the upmost respect to you and anyone reading. But that’s psychologically reminiscent of a kind “mysticism” I personally don’t like.

Man, if I was to see “signs”, “warnings”, “meanings” in the events preceding and succeeding, I’d go insane. I wouldn’t trust a god that afterwards gives me signs of punishment, and beforehand gives me signs of warning I’d completely fail to recognize.

That would feed paranoia, second guessing, and scant trust, to unreasonable levels. I don’t want to live like that.

I’d expect something a little more tangible, something usable, something that doesn’t burden me to death, that doesn’t prompt a paranoid relationship with Providence.

Life is confusing enough, society made of injustice, people lie and deceive all the time. I honestly expect my father and my mother to hold my hand and help me out, when I really need it, not to throw around “tests” with little gain other than wreaking havoc on my life and mind.

I’ll strive to be charitable and merciful as best I can. When I can’t hack no more, I’m done.

I got a good one for you @1Lord1Faith, imagine you’re a little kid, a cradle catholic, sitting in the pews, and you start thinking about God in those terms, with that mindset. No, I don’t think God wants me to have that mindset.

I see your point. But I would think it’s more of a type of foreshadowing than a type of mysticism.

Catholics do believe that there are signs of the times. The gospels also mention warnings or signs before certain events. In fact there’s a lengthy discourse on signs and warnings right around these parables. Almost all of Lk chapter 21 is about that stuff. Why wouldn’t Judas receive the same thing. I mean, his betrayal of Jesus was significant event.

Discernment isn’t so easy. And, I do believe that God sends us trials, or tests, in order to strengthen us. I’m sure a lot of saints and the apostles thought that the sacrifices they made were disruptive to their lives. And, I think the life of a priest today may be hard on his mind and his body.

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I don’t think it was a warning to Judas at all.

Had Judas taken it as a warning and changed his ways and not betrayed the Christ, the Salvation Plan and the revelation of Salvation History would have been irrevocably altered.

What happened happened, which is part of what make Salvation History as it played out “the greatest story ever told”.

This is such an interesting point. Was Judas destined to betray Christ? Even if he was he could have repented afterwards instead of killing himself.

After writing this thread and thinking about Judas’ choices, I have to wonder why Jesus wasn’t portrayed in the gospels as having done more to try to save Judas. I didn’t think anyone was predestined to hell. So, maybe Judas did not go to hell.

I’m just a little skeptical that Jesus didn’t reach out to Judas more. Doesn’t Jesus leave the 99 sheep to go after the one that’s lost? I think it’s reasonable to think that Jesus did, and that the final part of the journey to Jerusalem was full of lessons for Judas.

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I think you are right…we are all, no matter how sinful, offered a chance for salvation through repentance and contrition.

Because of Matthew 27:3-4, I don’t think Judas necessarily is in Hell

When Judas, his betrayer, saw that he was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.”

The Holy Bible. (2006). (Revised Standard Version; Second Catholic Edition, Mt 27:3–4). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

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It’s a tough issue, the church never said Judas went to hell. He did repent -or despair- thus taking the action he did…At that point, the usual doctrine can be applied, he wasn’t in his right mind, overwhelmed by guilt, unable to handle things, and so on…Does not necessarily qualify as eternal sin, the church prays for such souls, but I consider such issue to be extremely unpleasant, and would rather not talk about it.

Lukas 21 is manifold. But lets take 2 pieces that are pretty strong and well established.

1ºThe Fig tree, look for the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Meekness, Humility, Loyalty, Chastity, Diligence…Those are the sure signs!! If the person isn’t sinning and is living with virtue, we can assume by the fruits of their actions things are going alright. (Because it’s also really hard not to sin!! If they don’t, successful cooperation with grace can almost certainly be assumed.)

2ºSigns in the sky, the historical dimension would remit to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, 70 years after the crucifixion. In the “history repeating” perspective, we just had the “Blood Moon Prophecy” happening again, and besides a complicated geo-political context, the most important thing to come out of it was the “synod of the family”, although the internet was full of commenters screaming apocalypse.

My personal favorite: the last Fátima seer sister Lúcia said: “the final battle will be over the family”. I believe that, in Europe marriage and child birth are at unprecedented lows, an entire generation is about to go childless, past the age of fertility. (So we depart from a world changing event and return to the sanctity of family, I like that simplicity.)

If you want to think in these terms, I believe it’s actually more disturbing than just Judas. The ones who are presented as irredeemably lost (besides sins against the Holy Spirit) are the false prophets. Like Timothy, Peter, indicate with their reference to Balaam (not to Judas). Now, the hallmark sign, is usually “predicting the future accurately”, should something like happen it’s an extraordinary sign, and the social agent in question is in anything but a good place, it’s dangerous (but the church does not assume that agent to be irredeemably lost). The only rule that can be applied, in such case: repent, confess, return to Jesus, convert from sin.

According to some church fathers, Judas held the purse for the disciples. As Fulton Sheen used to say… Judas knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. Much like todays detractors, he complained as to why the money was spent on the body of Christ, and not the poor.


Jn 13:29 - Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or to give something to the poor.

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