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TENANT   5'2m0f The parable of the tenants.

MATTHEW -- Where is that contractor?! It's so hard to get good 
help these days!

BUILDER -- (hurried footsteps)(approaching) Hi, sorry I'm late. 
I was just meeting with Nebuchadnezzar about a new tower he wants 
to build.

MATTHEW -- Nebuchadnezzar? He lived thousands of years ago and 
hundreds of miles away. How could you...."

BUILDER -- Hey, these are all Bible stories. All you have to do 
is flip a few pages and boom, you're in Babylon. 

Anyway, my name is Builder. And you are....?

MATTHEW --  Matthew, Matthew 21:33.

BUILDER -- Matthew 21:33? That's a Bible reference, not a name. 
How did you end up with a name like Matthew 21:33?

MATTHEW -- Ah, well, I'm the Land owner in one of the Lord's 
parables. But the Lord didn't give me a name. I thought 
Land owner sounded snobby. So, Matthew 21:33 will have to do.

BUILDER -- Suit yourself, Matthew. What can I help you with?

MATTHEW -- Okay, I need a wall built around this vineyard, then 
I'll need a wine press dug in that corner there and a watchtower 
built in the far corner, there.

BUILDER -- ...wine press and a watchtower...got it.

MATTHEW -- Listen, I'm in kind of a hurry, the Lord only gave me 
one verse to complete all the work, rent out the vineyard to a 
tenant farmer, and take a journey.

BUILDER -- No problem. I'll used undocumented aliens and lots of 
them. We'll have it all built on time and under budget.

MATTHEW -- Undocumented aliens? Mr Builder, this work is for the 
Lord....

BUILDER -- No problem. The Lord doesn't mention the laborers in 
the parable, does he?

MATTHEW -- Well, no, but... 

BUILDER -- Believe me, if he doesn't mention the laborers in the 
parable, it doesn't matter. 

Say, maybe I can help you with the farmer too.

MATTHEW -- The farmer.

BUILDER -- Yeah, I've done that.

MATTHEW -- You're a builder AND a farmer?

BUILDER -- Of course. Remember the farmer who cast the seed on 
the path so the birds could eat it up?

MATTHEW -- That was you?

BUILDER -- But, don't get me wrong. I have a lot of experience 
as a builder too. I was the guy who built the house on the sand, 
so it could wash away in the storm.

MATTHEW -- Yes, well, maybe I should get more than one bid to 
build my vineyard wall.

BUILDER -- Look, Matthew, these parables only last four or five 
verses.

MATTHEW -- This one is six verses.

BUILDER -- Like I said, how good does the construction have to 
be in order to last six verses? Let's not get bogged down by 
quality control here. Okay, so let's get back to the tenant 
farmer. Five will get you ten, this parable needs a bad guy for 
a tenant.

MATTHEW -- Well, yeah, but...

BUILDER -- Then, I'm your man. So, what kind of guy does the 
Lord's parable call for? Greedy?

MATTHEW -- Well, yes, but...

BUILDER -- I am terrific at greedy. Remember the servant who 
mismanaged the boss's estate and then cut everybody's debt in 
half to make friends?

MATTHEW -- That was you, too?

BUILDER -- Greed is my middle name. When I build this wall 
around your vineyard, I'll pay the illegal aliens next to 
nothing and walk out of here one verse later a rich man.

MATTHEW -- Okay, suppose just for a second that I let you be my 
tenant. What do you do when I send my servants to bring home my 
share of your harvest?

BUILDER -- How many servants?

MATTHEW -- How many?

BUILDER -- Yeah, in order to make the best impression about 
greed I have to know how many servants you're sending to carry 
home your share of the harvest.

MATTHEW -- Let's say four.

BUILDER -- Okay, four. See, the trick is to do something nasty 
to each one, but not the same thing to any of them. It makes a 
more interesting parable.

MATTHEW -- Okay, but keep it short. The Lord only gave me six 
verses for the whole story....

BUILDER -- I know, I know, then the Lord wraps it all up at the 
end with a single sentence that all the seminary students can 
mark in yellow. (chuckles)

MATTHEW -- Time's a wastin' Mr Builder. Can you get on with 
this, please?

BUILDER -- Okay, okay. The servants. Let's see. I beat one up, I 
stone another, I kill the next one and I humiliate the last one 
and send him back to you with the message "I ain't paying no 
rent!"

MATTHEW -- Alright, suppose I send four more servants.

BUILDER -- Same thing.

MATTHEW -- You'd do the same thing to each of them again? That's 
not very creative.

BUILDER -- Look, you've got six verses to work with. What do you 
want from me?

MATTHEW --  Alright, suppose now I send my son.

BUILDER -- Hey, nothing personal, but I've got to kill him.

MATTHEW -- You'd kill my only son? 

BUILDER -- Of course.

MATTHEW -- But, why?

BUILDER -- Two reasons: greed and lust. 

MATTHEW -- Greed and lust?

BUILDER -- First, the greed. With the land owner's only heir out 
of the way, the vineyard will be mine when you die. Pure logic.

MATTHEW -- And the lust?

BUILDER -- With your son out of the way, I get to hop over to 
chapter 23 and take over for your son at his marriage to ten 
virgins.

MATTHEW -- (fading) I'll get back to you.

BUILDER -- (fading) Wait a minute. I haven't even given you my 
estimate, yet. Matthew. Matthew?


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