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ARRESTED 4'1m*f RT: Apostle Paul arrested, appeals to Rome

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

JAMES -- (enters wearing tunic and sandals, crosses to podium,
reads) My name is James son of Joseph. I am the brother of Jesus
of Nazareth and the elder of the church of Jerusalem. The reason
I called this press conference is to announce the arrest of Saul
of Tarsus whom the Christians refer to as Apostle Paul.

REPORTER -- Can you tell us what charges were brought against
Paul?

JAMES -- Actually, there aren't any charges against him yet.

REPORTER -- Then why was he arrested?

JAMES -- Paul was attacked in the Temple courts. He was put into
protective custody by the Romans.

REPORTER -- Then, can you tell us why he was attacked in the
temple?

JAMES -- As near as I can tell, two different groups of Jews
attacked him for what they thought were two different
blasphemies.

REPORTER -- Who were the groups involved?

JAMES -- The Sadducees and the Pharisees.

REPORTER -- What did the Sadducees accuse him of?

JAMES -- As you know, the Sadducees do not believe in spirits or
of the resurrection of the dead. So, when Paul began preaching
about the resurrection of Jesus, they accused him of blasphemy.

REPORTER -- What about the Pharisees?

JAMES -- Well, as you know, the Pharisees have been down-playing
the role of the messiah lately. They say that no savior of the
people is necessary, since people can save themselves by keeping
the law. But when Paul began to speak about Jesus as the savior
of mankind, they too began attacking Jesus.

REPORTER -- This sounds a little like Deja Vu.

JAMES -- You're right. These were the same issues my brother was
crucified for a few years ago.

REPORTER -- I have reports from Caesarea that Paul knew in
advance that if he came to Jerusalem, he would be arrested. Is
that true?

JAMES -- Yes. It's true. A prophet named Agibus predicted that
if Paul came to Jerusalem, he would be bound and handed over to
the gentiles. That's exactly what happened.

REPORTER -- Yet, Paul came anyway.

JAMES -- Yes.

REPORTER -- Why would he come to Jerusalem knowing that he would
be arrested?

JAMES -- Well, for one thing, he wanted to bring us news about
the dozens of churches he has planted among the gentiles. He
wanted to let us know that we are not alone in our struggle to
spread the good news about our messiah. And, having planted
churches from here to Greece, he's ready to go on to the next
step.

REPORTER -- And what step is that?

JAMES -- I'm not really sure. And I'm not sure that Paul himself
knows for sure what's coming next.

REPORTER -- What if the Jews put him to death as they did Jesus?

JAMES -- Well, I doubt that that will happen now.

REPORTER -- Why not?

JAMES -- After the Romans took Jesus into custody, they heard
about the plot to kill Jesus, so they moved Paul to Caesarea
where the Governor's palace guard will protect him.

REPORTER -- Why are the Romans being so protective of this
agitator?

JAMES -- Well, it remains to be determined who did the
agitating. Paul went to great lengths to show the Jews that he
is still observing the law. He is, after all, still an active
Pharisee.

REPORTER -- Yet, the Pharisees see Paul as a law breaker.

JAMES -- Governor Felix claims that Paul has broken no ROMAN
laws. So he has invited the Jewish leaders from Jerusalem to
Caesarea to make their case against Paul.

REPORTER -- And if Governor Felix finds Paul guilty?...

JAMES -- Paul is a Roman citizen. He has the right to appeal his
case before the Emperor of Rome.

REPORTER -- You think he might actually take his case all the
way to Rome?!

JAMES -- Now that I think about it, that's not a bad idea!

REPORTER -- What do you mean by that?

JAMES -- Paul is the Apostle to the gentiles. What better way to
spread the good news about Jesus than to preach to the emperor
and his palace staff?!

REPORTER -- He could do that?

JAMES -- As a Roman citizen, it's his right.... Wow!

REPORTER -- Wow?

JAMES -- I think God himself may have orchestrated this
confrontation here in Jerusalem so that Paul could legally
spread the good news to Rome.

REPORTER -- Is your god really capable of such a thing?

JAMES -- I think a god who can become a man and raise himself
from the dead is capable of anything! (exits) Praise the Lord!

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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