Zacchaeus

  • Cast Number: 1
  • Run-time: 20 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Luke 19:1-9

what a difference in your life when you meet the right Influence, and that's just what happened to Zacchaeus!

Scripture:

            Luke 19:1-9

Themes:

            Grace, repentance, restitution

Cast:

Zacchaeus:  A tax collector in the city of Jericho, he was a society outcast—until he met Jesus.

Scene:

            We are at the home of Zacchaeus. While it would be quite sumptuous, you need only suggest that with perhaps a couple of rich-looking draperies. The set need be no more than a table and chair, if that.

Props:

            Note pad and pen. This may be performed either in period costume or contemporary. If you’re dressed to the times, make sure the props are suitable to that. If you’re dressed in contemporary clothes, you can go either way with the pad and pen.

            Three large baskets heaped with fabric.

Sample of Monologue:

 

Zacchaeus enters with a skip. He looks around the room, spots the baskets. He grabs one and “dances” with it to the exit.  He hollers out the door.

 

The baskets are in here! They can go with the rest of the load. (He sets the basket by the door.) That’s one. (He dances the other two baskets to the door, counting each one.) Two. Three. (He giggles and pulls out his notebook and pen.) What’s left? (Checks his list) Let’s see. Three water jugs. I can give one to that young widow woman who works so hard in the fishery. I’ve seen her trying to tote water home in that old leaky wineskin. She loses more on the way than what she keeps. And then there’s that stone mason who broke his leg and is unable to work just now. It’s been pretty hard for him to provide for that growing family of his. I know they could use one of my water jugs. I’ll just fill it up with bundles of flour, figs and olives and the like, so they can eat, too. That’ll be fun. I can do that for the widow, too. Both families surely deserve any help I can give them.

Now, who should I give that third jug to? (Suddenly giggles gleefully, rubbing his hands together). I know! Ephraim  ben Hadad! That rascally old scoundrel wouldn’t expect anything from me! Why, he and I have been trying to cheat each other for years! He’s even succeeded from time to time, too. He won’t know what hit him. (Sobers) I won’t give it to him because he deserves it. He doesn’t deserve anything from me, the old reprobate! I’ll give it to him because he doesn’t deserve it. (A quick look up) And I know all about getting what I don’t deserve, don’t I? If I got what I really deserved, I’d be swinging from a gallows somewhere.

(Checks his list) Hmmmm. Eight cloaks. Eight! That means I own 16! What do I need with 16 cloaks? Or even eight, for that matter? I can only wear one at a time. I know I said I’d give away half of all my goods, but this is ridiculous! I can only wear one cloak, so I’ll just keep one. (Scribbles on his list) There. Fifteen cloaks to give away. I think I’ll send them to that leper colony in Judea. What fun! We’ll just add the cloaks to the barrels of grain and vegetables we’ve already got earmarked for them. Those poor souls are so used to getting cast-off old rags. They’ll enjoy having something nice to wear for a change.

(Skips around a bit) I’ve never had so much fun in my life!

 (Looks up as if he just suddenly notices the audience.) Oh, hello, there! I’ll bet you’re wondering what old Shorty is doing, giving away all this stuff? Well, I’ve only just begun, let me tell you!

Now, you’ve probably all had dealings with me at some time or another. As you know, I work for the Roman government, collecting taxes. Thing is, the only way a tax collector can earn a living is if he takes a little off the top. If the real tax is 15%, I simply charge extra and pocket the change. It’s made me a tidy bit of profit over the years. I can’t pretend I haven’t done a lot of that. As you can see, I am a man of some wealth and substance. This is just the way things get done around here and you’ve all been pretty helpless to do anything about it. It never bothered me. I figured I had a right to some of those taxes. So what if nobody liked me? I was rich. So what if nobody respected me? I was feared. And if it wasn’t for that wily old Ephraim ben Hadad, I’d be sitting pretty. Somehow that ol’ hyena had a way of making off with some of my hard-earned graft. Still, I’ve managed to amass quite a fortune.

Yesterday, things were going pretty much as usual. A merchant had come by to settle his accounts. He owed 21% of his profits in taxes. It came to thousands. After I rounded the figure up to 25%, I had a nice sum for me, too. It was starting out to be a pretty profitable day. All I had to do was watch out for that scamp, Ephraim!

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