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The answer is yes. Judas made his decision to betray Jesus 2 days before the Passover. It seems to have been triggered by Mary of Bethany anointing Jesus with expensive ointment.

Mark 14:1-5 After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.


John tells us that Judas was one who murmured and gives us his motive.

John 12:4,5 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

Immediately following this incident Judas goes to the chief priests to agree a price for the betrayal.

Mark 14:10 And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.

Matthew says that they agreed a price of thirty pieces of silver.

Matthew 26:15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

From then on Judas was just waiting for a suitable opportunity.I think that this is why Jesus organised the upper room for the Passover in a way which avoided Judas knowing the location beforehand.At the supper Jesus tells him that he knows what he is about to do.

Matthew 26:25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.

After receiving the sop Judas makes his decision to carry through the betrayal.

John 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

Note that ‘Satan’ is not the fallen angel of popular Christian mythology physically entering Judas and thus rendering him not responsible for his actions.It is New Testament speak for the point at which Judas allowed his baser desires to get the better of him and resolved to do the evil for monetary gain.

Paul rightly says:

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Judas knew that Jesus would spend the night on the mount of Olives.

Luke 21:37 And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives.

Luke 22:39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.

John 18:2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

And the rest, as they say is history...

Postscript - John records:

John 12:1-3 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus...

The ‘six days before the Passover’ should be understood to be when Jesus arrived at Bethany. The supper that they made for him was not the same night but 4 days later - 2 days before the Passover as Mark tells us in Mark 14:1.This resolves what some would see as a contradiction.

I hope this helps.

Glenn Smith