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RULER    5'1m0f Monologue: the rich young ruler

RULER -- (enters wearing colored tunic with gold piping, modest 
crown on head, sandals) Thank you all for coming. Let me tell 
you why I asked you all to...

Oh, dear, I see some strange faces in the crowd. Apparently, my 
servants invited more than just my friends and relatives. So, 
allow me to introduce myself. I am James son of Hector. My 
father was appointed ruler in one of the southern provinces by 
the Roman Emperor. And when my father died, I became ruler of 
the province. I am here in Jerusalem, just as you are, to see 
the rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth. 

The reason I need to talk to you is to ask you all to talk to 
Jesus on my behalf. I can't seem to get through to him. It isn't 
like I'm a gentile, an outsider. I'm a Jew, like all of you. I 
believe that Jesus is the messiah, the son of the Living God, 
just like you do. Yet, Jesus treats me as he would treat an 
unbeliever. He won't even call me by name. He calls me "the rich 
young ruler".

I am a Jew among Jews, from the tribe of Benjamin. I observe all 
the laws. I come to Jerusalem for all the festivals and holy 
days, I and my whole family, even my slaves! There is not one of 
my 350 slaves who does not keep the law! How can Jesus even 
think that I am an unbeliever?!

I keep all of the dietary laws. I don't eat pork or shell fish. 
When I'm not in the city, I pray toward Jerusalem three times a 
day. I give a tithe of everything I make, even the spices from 
the little vegetable garden in the atrium of my palace. I'm 
faithful to my wife, I've never murdered anyone, I've never 
stolen, or given false testimony, and I don't covet. Covet?! 
What is there to covet?! I have every luxury that money can buy!

I worship the Lord only. I have never worshipped false gods or 
bought any idols. I never misuse the name of our God. I keep the 
sabbath observance religiously. My life is an open book. I have 
nothing to hide. How can Jesus treat me like this?! If he is the 
messiah, then he is God. He should know that I am on his side. 

Talk to him, would you? Tell him what you know about me. Tell 
him the truth. Don't embellish. What is there to embellish? I am 
one of the richest, most respected Jews in all Israel. Tell him 
I'll do anything it takes to be saved, anything at all! 

Jesus says to follow him, trust him. I can do that. Of course, I 
can't go too far from home. I have to stay around the palace in 
case some urgent Roman business comes up. And, of course, I have 
to ride hurd over my slaves. Three hundred fifty slaves will eat 
you out of house and home and then lay around and do nothing to 
earn their keep if you let them. So, I have a lot to keep me 
busy.

But I'll trust Jesus. I will. I just can't do it the way Jesus 
wants me to. He wants me to drop everything and follow him. I 
offered to tithe 10% of my income directly to him. 20%! I even 
offered to give him 20% of my net worth. And let me tell you, 
that 20%, that's income property that could support him and his 
twelve buddies for the rest of their lives. But no. He says he 
doesn't want my money. He says he wants me. Just me. He wants me 
to walk away from my palace, all my land, my gold and jewels, my 
slaves, everything! 

How do you figure a guy like that? I could buy and sell him a 
thousand times. You know with my money and my influence, Jesus 
could get some real respectability in this town. And he badly 
needs respectability. He's got the Pharisees and the other 
rabbis all up in arms. He really needs me. I'm on a first-name 
basis with every rabbi in Israel. But does he care? No. He wants 
me to trust him. How do you trust a guy who doesn't have a 
denarius to his name?!

You know what I think? I think Jesus has an inferiority complex. 
I think he's jealous of my wealth and my connections. He wants 
me to give it all up. Leave everything. You know where that 
would leave me? I'd be right down on his level. No money. No 
status. Nothing. Then, I wouldn't have any choice. I'd have to 
trust him. 

I'd be willing to do that, you know. I could walk away from all 
my wealth and status. I could. I could give it up in a minute. 
But there's no way I'm going to give this all up without some 
guarantees that there's going to be a payoff. I'm not a fool!

So, you talk to him, would you? Tell Jesus what a great guy I am 
and that I'm ready to walk away from my wealth and my status, 
just as soon as I get some guarantees. Then I'll have faith in 
him.

Thanks everybody. Thanks for coming. (exits)

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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