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018. Jesus Rebukes People who Replace God Laws with their own Rules


ZwPI8cfkJesus Rebukes People who Replace God Laws with their own Rules

From Matt. 15: 1-20

Participants (No need to memorize lines; the aim is to relive sacred events, not to perform)
   Peter
   Abby
   Pharisee
   Voice (of Jesus)
   Prompter             Shout a brief line, and Echoes repeat it.
   Echoes                Children and all adults who want to take part. Echoes need no script.

Peter

(Groan.) Lord, we’ve walked a long time, and we’re hungry.

Prompter & Echoes

Very hungry!

Voice

Look, Peter. This field has ripe grain.
Moses said not to harvest the corners of one’s field,
so that hungry travelers could glean from them.

Prompter & Echoes

Eat a bit of grain!

Abby

Hello, mister! You’re eating grain from my father’s field.
I’m glad that you don’t have to go hungry.
My name is Abby. What is your name?

Peter

I’m Peter. We’ve walked a long ways,
and we appreciate this bit of food.

Prompter & Echoes

Crunch, crunch!

Abby

Oh, look! Those men have been watching you, and are coming.
Wow, they look angry!

Pharisee

Aha! You ate with unwashed hands!
Who is that law breaker that you are following?

Peter

He is Jesus of Nazareth. You Pharisees should follow him, too.
Come join us. Let me introduce you to him.

Pharisee

Stay there! Do not come near me.
We Pharisees do not associate with such as you.
I’ve heard about that Nazarene: he violates our sacred Law!

Peter

Oh, really? What law has he broken?

Pharisee

He lets you eat without ceremonially washing your hands.
You are doing it now!

Abby

Oh, oh! You are defiled, Peter. I‘m sorry.

Prompter & Echoes

Defiled!

Voice

Pharisee, you disobey God’s command and follow your own tradition.
Your rules about washing came from men, not from God.
You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:
“They honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.”

Abby

Look. Those Pharisees are holding their hands over their ears,
but they still hear what Jesus is saying.

Voice

Listen. It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles a person,
but what proceeds out of the mouth, this is what defiles a person.

Peter

Lord, the Pharisees were offended by that statement.

Voice

Never mind; they are blind guides of the blind.

Peter

Please explain to us what you said about what defiles a man.

Voice

What goes into the mouth passes into the stomach
and is eliminated;
but what leaves the mouth comes from the heart
and defiles a person.
From the heart come evil ideas, murders, adulteries,
thefts and lies.
These defile a person; but to eat with unwashed hands does not.

Prompter & Echoes

Our own thoughts defile us!

Peter

Lord, purify our hearts!