Waterlife – Advent 3A – “Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?”
December 12, 2010
Announcer (dresses and speaks like a game show host)
Candidate 1 (a king)
Candidate 2 (a doctor)
Candidate 3 (a grandmother)
Candidate 4 (Jesus)
John the Baptist
Well folks, we’ve just heard him… John the Baptist wants to know who the real Jesus is! It’s an important question! Who is the real Jesus?
This morning we have 4 people who claim to be the messiah – the savior of the world. We’ve asked John to come here this morning to help us find out, “Who is the real Jesus?”
Will our 4 candidates please come forward?
(Candidates come forward and sit on chairs in front of congregation)
Announcer: And now John – will you please join us?
(John the Baptist enters.)
Announcer: Let’s give him a hand – here he is: John the Baptist!
Announcer: Now John, to help you figure out which is the real Jesus, I invite you to ask our candidates some questions.
John the Baptist: Any question?
Announcer: Anything at all – within reason of course!
John the Baptist: Okay, let me think… Candidate #1: What makes you think you are Jesus?
Candidate 1: Well the Bible says that Jesus is a king – and I am the only one up here who looks anything like a king! Look at my crown and my robes!
John the Baptist: You do have a point – you look like a king! Candidate #2 – Same question – What makes you think you are Jesus?
Candidate 2: Well everyone knows that Jesus heals people. I’m a doctor. I know how to heal! Look at my stethoscope and my black bag – I’ve got everything I need to fix your pneumonia, your rash, your broken finger,…
John the Baptist: (softly) But can you fix a broken heart?…. Candidate #3 – What makes you think you are Jesus?
Candidate 3: (laughs) Oh honey, I’m the one who can fix a broken heart! I’ll just put my arms around you and give you one of my great big hugs! Remember that verse from the Bible – like a mother hen I’ll wrap my arms around you? That’s me!
John the Baptist: So Candidate 4, what makes you think you are Jesus?
Candidate 4: I am who I am.
John the Baptist: Hmmm…is that all you want to say?
(Candidate 4 doesn’t answer)
John the Baptist: I guess I’ll move on then. So the Bible says that the savior will be someone who is a descendant of great King David. Candidate #2 – Tell me about your family tree.
Candidate 2: My father was a doctor; his father was a doctor; his father was a doctor; his father was a doctor…and (we don’t talk about this much) his father was a lawyer – I don’t know what happened there!
John the Baptist: (laughs) So Candidate #3, tell me what you know about your ancestors.
Candidate 3: Oh, deary, I’m so glad you asked. I could talk about my family all day! You see I’m one of Joshua’s great-granddaughters. My kin have been in this part of Jerusalem for over 200 years! There was great-granddaddy Joshua who married Rebecca (and then of course he married Helen then Zoe then Naomi then Dora then Lea then…well I forget who all he married!) Anyway, among them there about 25 children – Samuel and Daniel and Orpah and Priscilla and Francesca and Joel and another Rebecca and I think a couple more Samuels and….
John the Baptist: Okay, okay! I think I get the picture! Candidate #1, can you tell me about your family?
Candidate 1: (proudly) Of course! I come from the great line of King Zedekediahshamkalameshiambika.
John the Baptist: Say that again?
Candidate 1: Oh yes – King Zedekediah…
John the Baptist: (interrupts) Never mind….! Candidate 4, tell me about your family.
Candidate 4: The Father and I are one.
John the Baptist: You are a man of few words! Which makes me think of another question…. instead of words, I’d like to know how you spend your time. With whom do you like to hang out with? Who are your friends?
Candidate 3: My friends are my family, sweetie!
Candidate 2: Well there’s my friend Max the councilman and Rabbi Joseph. We enjoy talking about politics, religion, the economy, … you know!
Candidate 1: Friends? I’m sorry you don’t quite understand – those of us who are royalty don’t have friends!
John the Baptist: And you, Candidate 4, who are your friends?
Candidate 2: (interrupts – mockingly) Oh, we all know who his friends are! He eats with prostitutes and those no-good cheating tax collectors!
(Candidate 3 acts horrified!)
Announcer: Well, I think we better wrap this up. One more question left John!
John the Baptist: Okay, I’d better make it a good one then. Here it is: Are you the messiah, or should I wait for someone else?
Candidate 1: I am a king.
Candidate 2: I am a healer.
Candidate 3: Snookums, you are so adorable!
John the Baptist: (clears throat, embarrassed) Ahem…thank you (I guess!) And you, Candidate 4, are you the messiah, or should I wait for someone else?
Candidate 4: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.
Announcer: (hesitantly) I guess that was his answer…So you have your answers John. What do you think? Who is the real Jesus? Who is the messiah, the savior of the world?
John the Baptist:
Well, Candidate 1 is obviously a King and we know that the messiah is a king. On the other hand, Candidate 2 is a doctor, and we know that the messiah is a healer. Candidate 3 may be a little bit too affectionate for my taste, but she obviously is full of love and we know that the messiah will come with love.
Candidate 4 is not at all what I thought a messiah should be like. He doesn’t dress like a king! He doesn’t seem to have any important ancestors. His friends aren’t very well-mannered. He hasn’t said much to make me think he’s the messiah… And yet, I know what he’s done. The blind have been given their sight. Those who were lame now walk. Lepers have been cured of their disease. Those who have been deaf to God’s words have now heard God speaking to them! He speaks good news – news of promise and possibility; news of God’s love for all of us – even the prostitutes and the tax collectors.
I think there can only be one answer. I don’t think I need to wait for anyone else. It’s obvious to me who the real Jesus is!