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PAINTER  5'1m0f Monologue: The sign said "KING OF THE JEWS"

(enters wearing tunic and sandals, angry) Do I look like a sign
painter to you? I'm a scribe. Do you know what a scribe is? A
scribe is the elite scholar among the Jews. Do you know what it
takes to become a Scribe? We have to memorize the books of
Moses. That's (extends fingers) five books, (counts fingers)
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Five books.
Word for word. We Scribes are entrusted with the very words of
God.

So, naturally, when a messenger came requesting my presence at
the governor's palace, I assumed that Governor Pilate wanted me
to expound from my great knowledge of scriptures. But did he ask
me to expound from my great knowledge of scriptures? No!

He asked me how many languages I can read and write. Well, being
a Bible scholar I told him that I knew all five languages that
all scribes know, plus two languages that most scribes don't
know. I was right in the middle of listing my fluent languages,
when the Governor rudely interrupted me. He said (imitating)
"Good. You'll do."

"I'll do? I'll do what?"

(imitating) "You'll paint the sign," He demanded.

"Paint the sign?!" Well, I was right in the middle of telling
this poor uninformed Roman bureaucrat that I am not a common
sign painter, when he stopped me right in mid-sentence and 
reminded me of the Roman "one mile law". The "one mile law" was
instituted by Caesar a few years ago. It says that all
non-citizens of Rome -- that is just about everybody within 300
miles of the Mediterranean Sea -- we're required by law to carry
the equipment of any Roman soldier who demands it up to one
mile. What that law boils down to is any Roman citizen can
demand that any of us Jews must do just about anything he wants
and we can't say or do a thing about it.

Well, I was right in the middle of a well-organized discourse on
how that law couldn't possibly apply to us scribes, when
Governor Pilate pointed (points) his boney little finger at me
and shouted, (imitates) "Guards, flog that man!"

"Alright, alright, I'll paint your silly sign. You don't have to
get huffy!"

(imitating) "I thought you'd see it my way." He said.

"What's the sign for?" I asked.

(imitating) "Roman law requires that when we execute a prisoner,
we have to post a sign in three different languages telling the
public what crimes he committed."

"You're not going to crucify anyone TODAY, are you?"

"Yes. Why?

"Well, everybody knows that tomorrow is a special sabbath."

"What do I care about your silly sabbaths?"

"Well," I explained, "crucifixion takes three days to kill the
prisoner. You can't keep a Jew hanging for three days over the
sabbaths."

"Don't blame me!" Pilate retorted. "It was you Jews who demanded
that Jesus be put to death immediately!"

"Oh. This is the first time I've heard of this. Jesus was not my
favorite person. He insulted virtually every scribe in Israel,
but I wasn't even aware he had a trial."

Pilate said, (imitating) "They had the trials last night."

"Last night?!" It's illegal for Jews to hold a trial at night. A
man can't get a fair trial at night!"

Pilate snarled, "Tell that to the Sanhedrin. It was you're own
people who convicted him."

"Well, Jesus is a jerk. I'm sure he had it coming. I suppose.
Alright, so, what do you want on the sign. What crimes was Jesus
convicted of?"

"The sign will read 'KING OF THE JEWS'". Pilate Demanded.

"That's it?! KING OF THE JEWS?! I thought you said the sign has
to list the prisoners crimes!"

Pilate just smiled. "They didn't have any evidence against him.
They just wanted him dead."

"Well, I wanted him dead too. But surely they could find
SOMETHING to convict him of!"

Pilate said, "No. They couldn't get any two witnesses to agree
on anything. The man is innocent. I flogged him 39 times with
the cat of nine tails and I couldn't get him to confess
anything.

"But you're going to kill him anyway?!"

"I couldn't talk them out of it! Your friends in the Sanhedrin
almost started a riot. I had to choose between the lesser of two
evils. So, go ahead and write the sign."

"But," I protested, "Can't the sign at least say that Jesus
CLAIMED to be the king of the Jews?!"

Then Pilate pointed his boney little finger at me (points) and
says, "I'm not going to have any trouble from you, am I?"

"No, no." So, I wrote the sign in big letters in Latin, Greek
and in Aramaic, "Jesus of Nazareth, KING OF THE JEWS".

(exiting) I just wanted you to know. It wasn't my idea.
2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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