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TEMPTED  5'2m0f Jesus is tempted by Satan

JESUS -- (enters, tired, dusty, weak, crosses to chair, sits, 
sighs)

SATAN -- (enters opposite, wearing fake mustache, apron, bar 
towel draped over arm, carrying order pad, speaks with French 
accent) Welcome ze desert restaurant, Monsieur Jesus. May I 
recommend our deluxe breakfast this morning? Eggs Benedict with 
a delightfully zesty hollandaise sauce?

JESUS -- (reaches up, tears off Satan's mustache) Forget it, 
Satan. You're not fooling anyone.

SATAN -- (no accent) Well, I was just trying to be hospitable. I 
understand you have been fasting in the desert for forty days.

JESUS -- And you're so terribly concerned about my stomach.

SATAN -- Well, you ARE hungry, aren't you?

JESUS -- Of course I hungry. But you can't really think that I 
would take anything from you.

SATAN -- (slyly) Of course not. But, if you are the Son of God, 
(points at floor) tell these stones to become bread.

JESUS -- It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but 
on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"    

SATAN -- Oh, big important messiah knows some Bible verses. Am I 
supposed to be impressed?

JESUS -- I didn't come here to eat. I came here to be tempted. 
Are you going to tempt me or not?

SATAN -- Well, I don't see anything wrong with a starving man 
wanting to eat.

JESUS -- You know very well that after I'm finished here, my 
angels will come to me and give me plenty to eat.  All you're 
trying to do is to get me to make a few little changes in my 
perfect plan. You think that if I bend on the little things, 
I'll bend on the big things too. Well, it won't work. Now, are 
you going to give me a real temptation or not?

SATAN -- Oh, speaking of angels, big guy, (pulls Jesus to 
standing position, to edge of stage) come up to the top of the 
highest point on the Holy Temple with me. (looks over the edge 
of the stage) It's high up here, isn't it?

JESUS -- (impatient) You were about to tell me something about 
angels. 

SATAN -- (feigned contemplation) You know, I remember reading 
somewhere 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they 
will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike 
your foot against a stone.'

JESUS -- Will you get to the point?

SATAN -- Well, I was thinking, there must be thousands of people 
down there in the temple courts. If you were to throw yourself 
off the top of the temple here and angels were to catch you, 
everybody would know that you are the messiah and that would save 
you three years of ministry in those dingy little towns and 
walking along all those dusty roads...

JESUS -- You're doing it again.

SATAN -- (feigned innocence) Doing what?

JESUS -- You're trying to get me to bend on the little things in 
order to make it easier for me to bend on the big things. But I 
am NOT deviating from my perfect plan. Besides, it is also 
written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'

SATAN -- Big deal. So you memorized a few scriptures.

JESUS -- Look, I came to be tempted. It's part of my perfect 
plan. Are you going to tempt me or aren't you?

SATAN -- (disappointed) Alright, come with me. (grabs Jesus' 
elbow, crosses with him to other end of stage)

JESUS -- Where are you taking me?

SATAN -- Mount Ararat, recognize it?

JESUS -- Of course. This is where Noah's ark landed.

SATAN -- That's correct, big guy. And from here you can see all 
the kingdoms of the world. Look. (motions broadly toward 
audience)

JESUS -- (impatient) Are you going to get to the temptation or 
not?

SATAN -- Look, Jesus, baby, you know what's ahead of you. You 
know that no matter how many miracles you do, those ingrateful 
Jews are going to reject you.

JESUS -- Tell me something I don't know.

SATAN -- They're going to arrest you like a common criminal.

JESUS -- That's in the plan. Tell me something I don't know.

SATAN -- They're going to spit on you. YOU, the messiah, the 
living God.

JESUS -- In the plan.

SATAN -- They're going to flog you until your back is like 
hamburger.

JESUS -- In the plan.

SATAN -- They're going to pluck out your beard and beat you so 
badly that even your best friends won't recognize you.

JESUS -- In the plan.

SATAN -- They're going to slowly suffocate you on a Roman cross 
of torture until you die.

JESUS -- (begins to speak, but is cut off)

SATAN -- I know what you're going to say. You're going to say, 
"It's in the plan." But I'm the prince of the power of the air. 
I know exactly what you're going to go through. In three years, 
as the time gets closer for you to suffer all those unspeakable 
horrors, you're going BEG the Father... let me read your prayer 
exactly. (flips order pad) Yes, here it is. It says you're going 
to sweat blood and beg the Father to, and I quote, "Take this 
cup from me." Don't do this to yourself, Jesus. These ingrateful 
slobs aren't worth the price you'll have to pay. I have a plan 
that will let you avoid all that pain and humiliation.

JESUS -- Alright, now your talking.

SATAN -- I am? I mean, of course I am.

JESUS -- Yes, if you've worked out a plan for me to avoid all 
that pain and humiliation, I'm tempted.

SATAN -- You are? You're tempted?

JESUS -- Yes. That's what I came here for. So, all we have to do 
now is work out the details, then I can tear up my perfect 
plan.

SATAN -- The details.

JESUS -- Yes, my whole plan was all about getting rid of evil. 
So, I assume that one of the details you've worked out is that 
you will leave my universe and never come back.

SATAN -- (sly smile) Yeah, okay, I can do that. (points broadly 
to audience) Look at this. All this I will give you.

JESUS -- I'm listening.

SATAN -- Listening? Listening for what?

JESUS -- For the IF.

SATAN -- The IF?

JESUS -- You will go away and never come back, IF...

SATAN -- (pause, slyly) ...if you will bow down and worship me.

JESUS -- (no hesitation) Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 
'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'

SATAN -- Will you stop with the memory verses already?! 

JESUS -- No, I won't.

SATAN -- (exiting, fans hand at Jesus in disgust) Well, alright. 
I tried. I gave it my best shot. I'll see you around.

JESUS -- (exiting opposite, sings) Not for long.


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