The Hurting Man

  • Cast Number: 8
  • Run-time: 55 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Luke 10:25-37
The injured man talks of the Good Samaritan, kind, compassionate, loving. Showing empathy, concern, love.
Based on Luke 10:25 - 37: (The Parable of the Good Samaritan)
Father and Child are the main characters. Child is in late teens to early twenties.
All quotations are read by narrator off stage.
The quotations are acted out by a small group of actors:
-Hurting Man

Two spotlights are used, one for Father and Child on Stage left, the other for the supporting actors in the center stage to stage right area. The two areas must be far enough apart that the spotlight for one will not illuminate the other space.

Sample of script:

Scene opens with Father and Child on stage, Father on chair, Child lying on floor, both reading.

CHILD: Dad remember when you used to read me stories when I was young?

Father: I sure do sweetheart. In fact that is one of my happiest memories.

CHILD You know I've often thought since that must have been a pain sometimes for you, reading to a little kid I'm sure that lots of times you must have had better things to do.

Dad No way, you are wrong. I'll admit there were lots of times when I had other things to do. But I never, ever had better things to do. Those very special times made me feel very close to you.

CHILD Me too Dad!

Dad Question. Of all the stories we read together, what was your favorite?

CHILD Hey that's tough. They were all special.

Dad Sure they were for me too. But there must be one more special than all the others.

CHILD Let me think. I always kind of liked the stories you made up yourself. Remember your story of Ali Baba and the thirty six minor league baseball players? Or how about Alice in Disneyland?

Dad Those were just dumb stories I made up on the spot.

CHILD Yes I know and they sometimes went on for hours too. But I loved every minute of it. That is until Mom would yell at you, "Would you let that child get to sleep, you both are just children."

Dad You know I never could figure out how your Mother could sound so angry and still have a big smile on her face.

CHILD All three of us knew that Mom was enjoying the story every bit as much as you and I.

Dad So the dumb stories were your favorites?

CHILD Well they were very special. But really I think my favorite time was when you read to me from the Bible. I especially liked when you read to me from my Bible, you know, the one with the pictures in it. That way I could pretend that I was reading along with you.

Dad That was a special time for me too. Of all the Bible stories what was your favorite?

CHILD Wow that's tough! There was so many and besides that was a long time ago. Let me think. I liked the story of Ruth. And the Last Supper. You know I think my favorite was the Story of the Hurting Man.

Dad The Story of the Hurting Man. Which one was that?

CHILD Well, really it's the Parable of the Good Samaritan. But remember we used to read out of my old Bible that had all the pictures. As you were reading to me I would focus on the pictures. In my child's mind the most vivid part of the picture was not the Good Samaritan. What I saw as more important was the man who lay hurting. So to me this story became the Story of the Hurting Man.

Dad The Story of the Hurting Man. That's interesting. Over the centuries since the Bible was written it has been read by millions of people. I'm quite sure that almost all who have read this story have focused on the caregiver, the Good Samaritan. I never really think of the victim in that parable. I'm sure you would have a very different way of telling this parable than most people.

CHILD I suppose you are right Dad.

Dad Listen, what about repayment for all those stories I have told you over the years. Would you tell me your story of the Hurting Man?

CHILD Sure, I'd like that Dad But for this story to be meaningful you will need to use your imagination. Wait a minute, why am I worrying about your imagination? With all the stories you have told me over the years I should know that you don't suffer from lack of imagination.

Dad Thanks a lot!

CHILD Sorry, Dad. OK, this time I'll tell you a story. But wait till I get my special Bible.

(Lights Dim. Narrator reads parable of the Good Samaritan)

Narrator. And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Spotlight comes back on Father and Child.

CHILD I'll just open my Bible at Luke chapter 10, verse 25. I'll move my Bible way back over here where it's easier for your old eyes to see.

(Child sits up and opens an imaginary Bible at center stage, returns and sits by Father)

Father What do you mean "old eyes"? What is this, kick Dad day?

CHILD Sorry Dad, just kidding.

Dad OK, go ahead with the Story of the Hurting Man. But no more father jokes, OK?

CHILD I promise Dad. And by the way, remember when I was little how you always encouraged me to participate when you told stories? So I'd like to hear your comments too, OK?

(Child and Father both look toward center stage as though reading from the imaginary Bible.)

CHILD When Jesus was on earth He was often heckled by the leaders of the day; the priests, the teachers, the politicians, the lawyers, all those in positions of power and authority. These leaders feared the growing popularity Jesus had with the common people. They tried to destroy Jesus' credibility by tricking Jesus into an action or an answer which the leaders could use against Jesus.

(Spotlight shows Jesus and Trickster talking.)

One of the leaders, a lawyer tried to corner Jesus with a trick question:

N. Master, what do we have to do to inherit eternal life?

CHILD This lawyer isn't named in the Bible, let's call him Trickster.

Dad Trickster. Now that sounds like a good name.

CHILD Smart, cunning Trickster. He knew exactly what he was doing to Jesus. Naturally as a lawyer Trickster was an excellent debater. As a leader Trickster had to be well educated and of above average intelligence. Trickster was handing Jesus what we would call a loaded question.

N. Master, what do we have to do to inherit eternal life?

CHILD Even calling Jesus 'Master' was a form of a put - down. As a leader of the community, Trickster felt vastly superior to Jesus. So Trickster's reference to Jesus as "Master' could only be considered an insult.
What Trickster wanted to do was to trick Jesus. But he also wanted to improve his status and standing in the community by grandstanding, by showing off in front of the whole community. Oh, how Trickster's friends would enjoy it! He was a leader on his way up on the social and political ladder. Destroying this upstart Jesus could sure help Trickster's career.

Dad The Story of the Hurting Man. There's something familiar about this. There have been times in my own life when my career and my status in the community have stood in the way of my following Jesus' example.

N. Master, what do we have to do to inherit eternal life?

CHILD Trickster had Jesus exactly where he wanted him. Trickster felt there was simply no answer Jesus could give which would not put Jesus in a bad light.

N. Master, what do we have to do to inherit eternal life?

CHILD Jesus, quietly and kindly, simply responded with a question for Trickster.

N. What is written in the law, how readest thou?

CHILD Really what Jesus was saying was 'Look Trickster. You have been educated in the law. You know what the law says. More importantly you also know how to interpret what the meaning is.'

N. What is written in the law, how readest thou?

D The Story of the Hurting Man. You know, sometimes I try to trick myself into believing I am following the example of Jesus when in my heart I know I am not. Sometimes I am Trickster. I rationalize to myself and others to prove my rightness. Things like "It may seem like I am in the wrong place doing the wrong things but really things just aren't as they seem. There are good reasons, OK? If I were not here there would be no Christian influence among these sinners. Isn't it lucky for you God that I am here?"

N. What is written in the law, how readest thou?

CHILD Jesus is saying "what does the Bible say about your actions and your activities? You are an intelligent person. You know what is expected of you as a Christian. How does what you are doing right now fit in with what the Bible teaches?"

N. What is written in the law, how readest thou?

D I'm more like Trickster than I want to admit.

CHILD Trickster is starting to sweat. This was supposed to be a classic mismatch, this confrontation between Trickster and Jesus. The script had been well rehearsed in advance in Trickster's mind. Trickster was to be the clear winner. How dare this uneducated Galilean carpenter back the wise and powerful Trickster into a corner? Well losing this confrontation was unthinkable. Trickster would simply have to answer this - - - this - - - Jesus.

N. Now thou shalt love the Lord Thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy strength and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.

CHILD Just try and answer that Jesus! Make something of that will you! Try, just try to prove me wrong on that one! Maybe next time you will think twice before you take on the mighty Trickster.

D There truly is a lot of the Trickster in me. I can accurately quote all the right Bible passages. But somehow my intent, in order to prove my superiority, is to paint someone else into a corner. Or, to paint myself as superior.

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