Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Greatest Commandent

The Greatest Commandment
Matthew 22:34-46

Cast:  4 men dressed as Pharisees.  They could be in robes or bright clothing but all must have some sort of small box strapped to their forehead.  If this is done in a series with Paying Taxes, these could be the same 4 Pharisees.

There is one additional character named Bigbox.  This Pharisee has a much larger phylactery (comically so) than the other Pharisees.  He is the expert in the law.

Set:  Any.  Dialogue and gesturing move the action.

Scene begins with 4 Pharisees stage center pantomiming discussion as the drama begins.  If lighting changes are available, lights go up as actual conversation begins.

P1:  What are we going to do now?
P2:  At least he silenced the Sadducees.  As much as I would like to discredit this Jesus, I don’t know if I could live with the Sadducees getting the credit for it.
P3:  Well they didn’t, did they?
P4:  That’s why they are Sad You See.
P1:  That’s getting old, especially since we are not having any better luck.
P2:  So what do we do?
Bigbox enters from stage right/left to music (Theme from Rocky or Bad to the Bone).  He is strolling confidently surveying all that is around him.  He is very much the man.  He walks towards the 4 Pharisees and the music fades.
 P1:  Are you thinking what I am thinking?
P2:  I think I am.
P3:  Me too.
P4:  Well, I will go ahead and say it.  We will send Bigbox to get him.  Nobody can stand up to him.
Bigbox arrives at the group and pantomime resumes with many hand and arm gestures.  Finally Bigbox turns around and exits the stage with the 4 Pharisees in trace celebrating what they are sure will be a great victory to come.
Lights go down or some other cue to the audience that a fair amount of time has passed.  Bigbox and the 4 Pharisees come dragging back in.  Bigbox has his phylactery hanging cockeyed to one side, his hair is a mess, and he is shaking his head slowly from left to right.  This is a defeated man.
The 4 other Pharisees are consoling him in pantomime and patting him on the back until all arrive center stage and the lights go up.
Bigbox:  What just happened?
P1:  You were there.
P2:  We all were there.
P3:  And you asked him the question.
P4:  Yeah, which is the greatest commandment in the law?
Bigbox:  But it seems like in an instant I was not the one in control.
P1:  He said love the Lord with all of your heart,
P2:  And soul,
P3: And mind.
P4:  And then without missing a beat.
Bigbox:  I didn’t even get to say anything else.
P1:  Jesus said and the second is like it.
P2:  Love your neighbor as yourself.
P3:  And then it was another seamless transition.
P4:  All the law and prophets hang on these two commandments.
Bigbox:  Bam!  Homerun!  Game over!
P1:  What’s a homerun?
P2:  Must be what knocked his phylactery out of whack.
P3:  It just all flowed in rhythm. 
P4:  Like he really knew his stuff.
Bigbox:  He had us.  We were whipped, but then it looked like we might have a chance to redeem ourselves.  He asked whose son is the Christ?
P1, P2, P3, & P4 together:  David’s son!
Bigbox:  That is the correct answer.  We know it is the correct answer.  But then he said…
P1:  How is it that David speaking by the Spirit calls him Lord?
P2:  Right out of the Psalms he says…
P3:  The Lord said to my Lord:  Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.
P4:  How did we miss that?  We study all the time.  We know what God’s word says.  How did we miss that?
Bigbox sits on the ground and puts his head in his hands while the other Pharisees keep talking.
P1:  What are we going to do?
P2:  He was still talking about us when we left.  He said that the people had to do what we said but that we were terrible examples.
P3:  And should not do what we do.
P4:  I heard him saying that whoever exalts himself will be humbled.
P1:  I have been humbled, that’s for sure.
P2:  I heard him say right before we were out of earshot that everything we do is just for people to see.
P3:  He’s sort of got a point.
P4:  Hey!  Quit siding with him.  We will take him in the rematch.
Bigbox [still sitting]:  There isn’t going to be a rematch.
P1, P2, P3, & P4 together:  What?
Bigbox [standing]:  There isn’t going to be a rematch.  We have more than met our match.
P1, P2, P3, & P4 together:  What?
Bigbox:  There isn’t going to be a rematch.  We can’t beat him that way.
P1, P2, P3, & P4 together:  So what then?
Bigbox:  Nothing that we can do in broad daylight that’s for sure.
Lights go down and all 5 exit together in pantomime of further discussion.

The end.

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