In answer to your questions: YES, YES, and YES. of course it is possible for followers of Jesus to betray him. Of course it is possible for those who have sat at the Lord’s feet for an extended period of time to stumble over what Jesus is doing in their lives and blame Him. Of course followers of Jesus can and do at times walk in darkness.
You can substantiate your view of the Mary, Martha Lazarus, and Judas material based on REPETITION. Clearly chapter 11 and 12 of John belong together because of the repetition of their names. That’s the primary structural law being used, and few would argue with that. You run into difficulties when you attach the Judas material found in John 13:1-30 to the material in chapters 11 and 12. Judas is involved in the Mary, Martha, and Lazarus material by virtue of the fact that he is mentioned by name… I agree. However, there has to be substantial evidence to give cause for extending 11 & 12 through the first 30 verses of 13.Some highlights from your perspective were…
- Mary is WIPING Jesus feet in 12 and Judas is objecting and stumbling over this
- Jesus is WASHING and WIPING feet in 13 – Judas is still stumbling
- Judas is walking in darkness which is the true cause of his stumbling
- Martha is attempting to keep Jesus at a distance from her house in 12 & Martha tells Mary secretly that Jesus is outside – she has Jews in her private house that want to kill Jesus
- Judas is trying to keep secret the fact that he is stealing from the money bag in 12
- Jesus teaches about stumbling in the dark rather than walking in the light in 11
- Later in 11 Lazarus is walking with a napkin around his face – stumbling
- Martha and Martha stumble over and consequently blame Jesus for the situation in 11 with their brother
- Judas is somewhat blaming Jesus in 12 for the waste
It seems pretty plausible to link the two materials. You make it sound as if the author then is comparing the betrayal of Judas with the behavior of Mary and Martha. You may run into some objections if you try to do that. All three are followers of Jesus, they have a relationship with Jesus, and have been sitting at His feet. The interesting questions you raised that I have yet to answer were…
- Would you say that Jesus loved Judas?
- Would you say that Judas loved Jesus?
- Doesn’t betrayal only make sense in the context of love?
- Would you say that Judas hated Jesus from the beginning?
- Did Jesus wash Judas feet?
- Did Judas act as if Jesus was betraying him?
- Were not the sisters actually stumbling not because of Jesus delay but rather because they were walking in darkness(were giving quarter to those that would have Jesus crucified)?
Your whole idea makes complete sense, but it may have some strange implications. We are all pretty comfortable with assigning Judas to Hell. Your perspective makes Mary and Martha look just as culpable. Suppose they were also betraying Jesus by giving quarter to the very individuals that wanted to kill Jesus and on top of that were trying to keep Jesus from discovering those Jews were in their private home(trying to keep Jesus “in the dark”). It would make sense then that Jesus cries because of this. However what then are we to make of the eternal destination of these sisters?
Does this bring into question Judas eternal salvation? By returning the money… did he repent? Was killing himself his attempt at restitution? Who would dare to link these three people?
These are some interesting thoughts Cameron, but honestly I think you should hold off before teaching this, otherwise you may upset someone.