BAPTIST2 6'1m*f RT: John Baptizes Jesus in the Jordan River

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience.)

JOHN -- (enters wearing fur tunic and sandals, crosses by
podium, stops, examines several faces in audience, returns to
podium) If you were expecting to have a press conference with
Jesus of Nazareth, you're too late. He's gone. Sorry. (turns)

REPORTER -- Can you tell us where Jesus went?

JOHN -- (turns) Yes. He went back to Galilee to start his
ministry. Now, if you'll excuse me... (turns)

REPORTER -- Can you tell us what that means?

JOHN -- (turns) What what means?

REPORTER -- You said that Jesus went away to start his ministry.
Can you tell us what his ministry is?

JOHN -- Yes. For the next three years, Jesus will be traveling
through out Israel, proclaiming the good news of God. (turns)

REPORTER -- May we have your name, please?

JOHN -- (turns) My name is John, son of Zechariah the priest.

REPORTER -- Aren't you the one they call John the Baptist?

JOHN -- Yes.

REPORTER -- Is it true that you baptized Jesus in the Jordan
river today?

JOHN -- Yes. That's true.

REPORTER -- Isn't that a little unusual?

JOHN -- Unusual? I've baptized hundreds of people in the Jordan
river the last few days. How is that unusual?

REPORTER -- Well, for one thing, if you're the son of a temple
priest, shouldn't you be working in the temple in Jerusalem
baptizing people in the bronze basin there?

JOHN -- Let me ask you a question.

REPORTER -- YOU want to ask the members of the press a question?

JOHN -- Yes. Can you tell me why they refer to the temple in
Jerusalem as HEROD'S temple?

REPORTER -- Because the money to build it came mostly from

JOHN -- And because it gave glory to Herod and not to God. Have
you noticed that God is not present in the temple?

REPORTER -- How would we know if God is there or not?

JOHN -- The first temple built by King Solomon had a pillar of
smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night. Have you ever seen
such a thing at Herod's temple?

REPORTER -- Are you saying that God is not present in the temple
at Jerusalem?

JOHN -- That's what I'm saying. And do you know why?

REPORTER -- I thought WE were the ones who were supposed to be
asking the questions.

JOHN -- I'll tell you why. Because the Pharisees and the
Sadducees no longer put their trust in God. They put their trust
in their own good deeds. They don't think they need a savior.

REPORTER -- Is that why you referred to them as... (reads) "A
brood of vipers"?

JOHN -- That's right. And that's why I'm baptizing people in the
Jordan River.

REPORTER -- But the Jordan river is muddy and unclean.

JOHN -- Baptism is not intended to clean the body, but to
symbolize the immersion in the Holy Spirit.

REPORTER -- Are you saying that people who are immersed in the
Jordan River now will be immersed in the Holy Spirit later?

JOHN -- Yes. As a matter of fact, Jesus himself was already
immersed in the Holy Spirit.

REPORTER -- When did this happen?

JOHN -- Immediately after he came up out of the water.

REPORTER -- There were several reports from bystanders that they
heard thunder when Jesus came up out of the water. Can you
confirm that?

JOHN -- What the people heard was the voice of God himself, just
as it was in the time of Moses. Only true believers could hear
the words of God. All the others could only hear what sounded
like thunder.

REPORTER -- Did YOU hear the words?

JOHN -- Yes.

REPORTER -- Can you tell us what God said when Jesus came up out
of the water?

JOHN -- Yes. He said, "This is my son, in whom I am well

REPORTER -- Can you tell us why?

JOHN -- Why what?

REPORTER -- You quoted God as saying (reads) "This is my son in
whom I am well pleased".

JOHN -- Yes.

REPORTER -- But you just told us that Jesus was about to start
his ministry. If Jesus hasn't done anything yet, what is there
for God to be pleased about?

JOHN -- After creating the entire universe, Jesus decided to
give up his rights as king of the universe to take on the body
of one of his creations in order to save them from their sins. I
would say that just humbling himself is enough to be pleased

REPORTER -- But if Jesus is the creator of the universe, that
makes him God.

JOHN -- That's right.

REPORTER -- But you said God spoke to Jesus from Heaven. Doesn't
that mean there's two Gods?

JOHN -- I don't know how God can do it, but it appears that one
God is actually THREE different persons.

REPORTER -- THREE persons?!

JOHN -- Don't forget, I saw the Holy Spirit descend from Heaven
at the same time I heard God's voice from heaven. That makes
THREE persons in one God at one time.

REPORTER -- How is it possible that God can be three persons?

JOHN -- I don't know. Perhaps outside of the universe that God
created for us, outside of our limitations of time and space,
three persons can sit on one throne at one time.

REPORTER -- How can that be?

JOHN -- I don't know HOW he does it, but this is not a surprise.
In the Book of Genesis, during the creation, the Hebrew word for
God is a plural noun that is always used with a singular verb.
And this plural God said "Let US make man in OUR image." At this
point in the creation, there is noone around but God himself. I
can't see any other explanation for God referring to himself as
US unless God is more than one person. I don't know how one God
can be three persons. I'm no scholar. I'm just the voice of one
calling in the wilderness, "Make way for the coming of the
Lord." And I'm pleased to announce: The Lord is here.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have several hundred people waiting
to be baptized. (exits)

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