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JOHN THE READY

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Actors Narrator John, A Questioner, Tax Collector, Soldier, Priest 1, Priest 2

Action Narrator: There was a man who was sent from God named John.
John: I am John.

Narrator: John was the Light.

John: That’s what some people thought, but I only came to show the light.

Narrator: Sorry about that, John. Anyway John baptized many people to get them ready for the coming of the Light. Therefore, people called him John the Ready.
That’s John the Baptist.

John: That’s John the Baptist

Narrator: Oh, yeah. Well, John was a rather unusual fellow. He dressed mainly in camel’s skin, which went out of style several years ago. If you think John smelled bad with the skin on him, you ought to smell the camel with the skin off him!

John: Well, I may not make it with the outfit, but this belt is genuine leather!

Narrator: Not only did John dress strangely—

John: Not strangely … just different.

Narrator: Not only did John dress, uh, different, but he also ate strangely, uh, differently.

John: What’s so bad about locusts with wild honey on them?

Narrator: Yek!

John: No taste for the finer things in life!

Narrator: But no matter what John did, he had a message that people needed to hear.

John: Repent, turn from your sins, the kingdom of heaven is closer than you think! You brood of vipers who—

Narrator: You what? What does that mean?

John: It means that they’re all snakes in the grass!

Narrator: Don’t you think that’s a little harsh?

John: At this point it may be, but you didn’t listen to the rest of the message!

Narrator: All right, go on!

John: Where was I? Oh, yes—you brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Start acting like you’ve asked for forgiveness and quit looking to the past for salvation!

Narrator: Many people had questions: ordinary folk, tax collectors, and soldiers.

A Questioner: What should we do?
John: If you have two shirts, give one to someone who doesn’t have any.
Tax Collector: Sir, I was wondering what I should do?
John: Don’t collect any more than you should!
Soldier: What about us?
John: Don’t take money by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and oh, don’t go on strike for more money!

Narrator: And as all preachers do, John kept on preaching.

John: Now I am baptizing you with water, but there is one coming after me and he’s greater than I am. I mean I can’t even untie his shoelace without feeling unworthy! He’s the one that will give you a different type of baptism. He’s going to baptize you with the Holy Spirit!

Narrator: Now while John was doing all of this, the priests of the Jews were doing something else.

Priest 1: Doggone it, there is just no one attending our big temple bazaar because they’re all out at John’s revival meeting!

Priest 2: 1 wish there was some way to get rid of John the Ready.

Narrator: That’s Baptist.

John: Thank you.

Narrator: You’re welcome.

Priest 1: Let’s go talk to him. Maybe he’s not as strange as we think.
Priest 2: Did you ever eat locusts with honey on them?
Priest 1: Yek!

Narrator: The priests made their way out to where John was baptizing.

Priest 1: I’ll go ask him.
Priest 2: All right.
Priest 1: John, excuse me. But who are you?
John: Whoever I am, I am not who you think I am!
Priest 1: Well, I don’t think you’re anyone, I just wondered if you might think that you’re someone special.

Narrator: If John said he was the Messiah (the awaited deliverer), the priest would have him put to death for blasphemy (that is, claiming to be God).

Priest 2: (as Priest I returns) Well, what did he say?
Priest I: He says he’s no one special. So what do we do now?
Priest 2: Did you ask him if he thought he was the Messiah?
Priest 1: Well, I didn’t say it right out.
Priest 2: Why not?
Priest 1: That camel skin smelled terrible, and I couldn’t stand being too close to him! Y’know I got to thinking about that poor camel running around without his skin—naked as a blue jay—it sure must be cold!

Narrator: Are you going to ask him or not?

Priest I: All right, all right! Are you the Messiah?
John: No!
Priest 2: Who are you then, Elijah?
John: No!
Priest 1: A prophet?
John: No!
Priest 2: Doggone, this is no fair. At least tell us animal, vegetable, or mineral.
John: You’re using up your Twenty Questions fast.
Priest 1: Well, who are you? What do you say about yourself?
John: I am a voice.
Priest 2: I’ve never seen one of those before.
Priest I: What do you do?
John: I cry in the wilderness!
Priest I: Why do you cry in the wilderness? Isn’t it a lot nicer in your room, where Mom and Dad can help out?

Narrator: Not boo-hoo cry. Preach-type cry. Like a town crier!

Priest 1: Oh, what do you cry?
John: Make straight the way of the Lord!
Priest 2: Well, if you’re not him why are you baptizing?
John: I fold you that there’s one coming after me that is greater than I, and he’s going to baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire! As a matter of fact, he’s standing right in this crowd somewhere! He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!

Narrator: The crowd began to get very quiet and a man moved out of the middle of the crowd and started walking toward John. The priests did not understand and left bewildered. As the man approached, something mysterious happened. All at once the clouds opened up and something that looked like a dove came down upon him. Many people had different reactions to this event. On that day this man made four followers. How would you react to this same man if he were to make the same sort of entrance today?

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