.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

HEALING AT THE POOL – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        seeking Jesus for healing
SCRIPTURE:    John 5:1-47
Style:        satire/conversation:  reporters investigate
.             the event at Bethesda
Cast:         PERSONS 1-6, REPORTER 1 & 2, PR PERSON,
NOTE:         if you don’t have enough people,
.             you can condense the lines and
.             assign them to the appropriate amount,
.             but you will need at least 2 “PERSONS”)
Set & Props:  pad of paper (which can have the script),
.             pencil (or quill), broom


(PERSONS 1-6 enter from stage right in numerical order.
They are all grumbling at the same time, with phrases
like “They need to find Him.”
“He is such a trouble maker.”
“He needs to be caught.”
“How dare He break our laws?”)

(REPORTER 1 and 2 enter from stage left and observe
the angry people.  REPORTER 2 pretends to take notes
of everything that happens.  PR PERSON enters from
stage left and sees the REPORTERS.  PR PERSON approaches
with a big smile and a handshake.  PEOPLE keep quiet
in order to listen to the interviews.)

REP 1     Hello, we are with the Jerusalem Herald.

REP 2     We’d like to ask you a few questions.

PR        Wonderful, welcome to Bethesda.
.         We welcome every chance to advertise
.         our wonderful place of healing.

REP 1     So there was a healing here yesterday?

PR        Oh, we have many healings that happen here.

REP 2     Really, do you have the numbers on that?

PR        Ooohhhh, too many to count.

REP 1     Really, so how does it work?
.                                                       2
PR        You see our lovely pool.  And we have five
.         lovely porticoes, or as we like to call them:
.         lovely-little-sheltered-areas
.         where people can stay.  People with
.         all sorts of diseases come here - and wait.

REP 2     What do they wait for?

PR        An angel of the Lord comes down at
.         certain seasons, into this very pool,
.         and stirs up the water.
.         Whoever gets in the pool first, is healed.

REP 1     Sounds like a good deal.

PR        It’s a lovely deal.  Just make sure you spell
.         the name correctly...
.         (looks over REP 2’s shoulder as he/she writes)
.         B – E – T – H – E – S – D – A.  And if you’re
.         going to get a picture of the place, I suggest
.         standing right here to sketch it out.

(PR PERSON uses hands to form a square in the direction
of “the pool” area.)

REP 2     But we are really interested in what
.         happened here yesterday –

PR        Yesterday was lovely just like every day
.         is lovely here at Bethesda.

REP 1     Okay, thank you.  You don’t mind if we
.         look around?

PR        Just make sure you draw a lovely sketch
.         for your newspaper.  I must step away now,
.         I see a new customer.

(PR PERSON rushes off stage left.)

REP 2     But –

REP 1     Forget it, we won’t get a straight answer
.         from that person.

(PERSON 1 & 2 step out of the crowd and up to the

P 1       We saw what happened.
.                                                       3
REP 2     You did?  Could you start from the beginning?

P 2       Sure!  This man, named Matti, was healed
.         yesterday.

P 1       He’s been here a long time.  A LONG time.

P 2       I think he said it had been 38 years already.

REP 1     So this Matti finally made it into the pool?

P 1       No!  Some man, named Jesus, came along.

REP 2     (quickly writing)  Now we’re getting somewhere.

REP 1     Okay, so what did this Jesus do?

P 1       Jesus just walked up to Matti and said,
.         “Do you wish to get well?”

P 2       Of course, Matti said “yes.”

P 1       No he didn’t.  Matti always just complained
.         about how he didn’t have anyone to help him
.         into the water.  He moved so slowly that
.         other people always got there ahead of him.

REP 2     What happened then?

P 2       Jesus told Matti to just - get up and walk.

P 1       And Matti did!  He was completely healed.
.         That lucky guy.  So not fair.

P 2       At least he’s not here anymore taking up space.

P 1       Matti did kind of smell bad.

P 2       He would never have made it to the water.

(PHARISEE has walked in and tried eavesdropping,
and now steps up with great purpose to the REPORTERS.)

PHARISEE  They didn’t finish the story, though.

(REPORTER 1 leans over to REPORTER 2.)

REP 1     We get to interview a Pharisee.

REP 2     Sweet!  Pharisees always add some juice       4
.         to the scoop.

(REPORTER 1 turns back to PHARISEE with a serious face.)

REP 1     Thank you for speaking with us, Teacher-Sir.
.         And could you tell us the complete story then?

PHARISEE  The complete story, and the truth: is that
.         Jesus is a lawbreaker.  He broke the Law!

(PERSONS 1-6 grumble their lines such as:
“They need to find Him.”  “He is such a trouble maker.”
“He needs to be caught.”  “How dare He break our laws?”)

REP 2     This is BIG!  What did He do?

(PERSON 1-6 keep quiet to listen.)

PHARISEE  Jesus told the man to pick up his pallet.

(Long pause while REPORTER 1 and 2 stand there thinking.)

REP 2     You mean, like - for painting?

P 1       I didn’t know Matti painted.

PHARISEE  No, you fools!  The pallet, the mat, the cot,
.         the bed-things that you all sleep on.

ALL       Ooooohhhhhhh.

REP 1     Okay, so Jesus told Matti to pick up his –
.         bed-thing.

PHARISEE  It was on the Sabbath!

ALL       Ooooohhhhhhh.

REP 2     Riggghhht, because –

PHARISEE  It’s against the Law to work on the Sabbath.
.         Don’t you people know anything?

REP 1     Oh, sure we do.  That’s why we’re covering this
.         story today, instead of yesterday.

PHARISEE  I should hope so!  Now!  I have important
.         business to take care of.  We are still
.         looking for ways to trap Jesus.
.                                                       5
REP 2     Because Jesus told a man to carry
.         his bed-thing on a Sabbath?

PHARISEE  Not just that, Jesus is saying that
.         He is equal – with God.

ALL       Ooooooohhhhh!

PHARISEE  There is your headline.  And if you hear
.         any more stories like this, make sure
.         you report them to the authorities.

REP 2     The police?

PHARISEE  To us – the Pharisees.  Don’t you know
.         anything?  (turns and marches out)

REP 1     (to REP 2)  Whew!  That was intense.

REP 2     You think that we got the true story here?

(PERSONS 1-6 grumble their lines such as:
“They need to find Him.”  “He is such a trouble maker.”
“He needs to be caught.”  “How dare He break our laws?”
JANITOR enters from stage right, only concentrating
on sweeping the floor and singing softly.  REPORTER 1
nudges REPORTER 2 and motions to the JANITOR.)

REP 2     Rigggghhht, we should ask the help.
.         They usually have a better handle on things.

(As they approach, JANITOR continues sweeping and
singing.  REPORTER 1 has to wave a hand in front
of JANITOR’S face to get his attention.)

REP 1     Excuse me, we are with the Jerusalem Herald.


REP 2     We’d like to ask you a few questions.

JANITOR   Oh, okay.  Better hurry, the sundial is moving.

REP 1     Could you tell us what happened here yesterday?

JANITOR   Well, as usual, I was cleaning up and sweeping–

REP 2     You didn’t see the healing event?

(JANITOR freezes in an “I have no idea what you’re      6
talking about” face.)

REP 1     Did you hear ANYTHING?

JANITOR   I like to sing.  Keeps me from getting bored.

REP 2     You didn’t hear any news about a healing?

(JANITOR freezes in an “I have no idea what you’re
talking about” face.)

REP 1     Could you at least tell us what normally
.         happens here?

JANITOR   Sure, I – keep this place clean and swept–

REP 2     We mean, what is this place all about?

JANITOR   Oh, surrrre.  Well, there’s this pool, which
.         gets its water from underneath somewhere.
.         Like a natural underground water source.
.         Once in a while it bubbles.

REP 1     You mean, when the angel comes down?

JANITOR   Well, that’s the story, but I ain’t never
.         seen no angel.  I’m pretty sure the bubbles
.         happen right after a windy day.  Like,
.         the wind stirs it up.  But what do I know.
.         Never really studied science.  Whatever.

REP 2     But people get healed from this water?

JANITOR   That’s the story.  I think sometimes it’s
.         just because of the nice bed rest they get.

REP 2     You mean, just lying around here on their
.         bed-things?

JANITOR   Surrrre.  But what do I know? I ain’t no
.         doctor.  All I know is - I’ve never seen
.         anybody get “healed” from the water.

(JANITOR leaves while sweeping and singing again.
REPORTER 1 looks at PERSON 3 & 4.)

REP 1     So have you ever seen the angel?

P 3       No, but the water sometimes bubbles and moves.
.                                                       7
P 4       Yep.

REP 2     What about seeing someone get healed from
.         the water?

P 3       Hmmm, well, there’s always hope.

P 4       Yep.

(PERSON 5 points to MATTI as he enters from stage left.)

P 5       Hey look!  Here comes Matti!


REP 1     You’re this Matti, who was healed by Jesus?

MATTI     Yes.

REP 2     Could you tell us about that?

MATTI     Well, yesterday, Jesus saw me and healed me.

REP 2     And told you to pick up your bed-thing?

MATTI     Yes.  I got into trouble for that, since
.         it WAS the Sabbath.  But the Pharisees didn’t
.         punish me or anything, they just kept asking me
.         who it was that told me to do that.

REP 1     Then you told the Pharisees that it was Jesus?

MATTI     No, because I didn’t know who it was –
.         at first.  Jesus had just kind of slipped away
.         into the crowd of people.  Later, I went
.         to the temple.  There, Jesus found me again.

REP 2     Did Jesus say anything to you?

MATTI     Yeah, Jesus told me not to sin anymore.
.         Ha!  Yeah, like that’s ever going to happen.
.         I left and went to tell the Pharisees that
.         it WAS Jesus who had told me to pick up
.         my bed-thing.

REP 1     Wait, so Jesus healed you, and then –
.         you go TELL on Him?

MATTI     He told me to WORK - on the Sabbath!
.                                                       8
REP 2     But He healed you.

MATTI     I gotta go.  Now that I’m better,
.         my wife has this LONG honey-do list.
.         My life was actually better when all I had
.         to do was lay around.  Now – I don’t need
.         anyone else telling ME to work.
.         Especially on the Sabbath.

(MATTIE exits.  PERSONS 1-6 grumble their lines such as:
“They need to find Him.”  “He is such a trouble maker.”
“He needs to be caught.”  “How dare He break our laws?”)

P 6       Jesus needs to be caught.

REP 1     I don’t really understand this.
.         (to PERSON 6)  Hey you, are you still sick?

(PEOPLE keep quiet to listen.)

P 6       Yes.  (coughs)  Yes, I am.

REP 2     And did you see Jesus heal Matti?

P 6       I did, right before my eyes.  AND I heard
.         Jesus tell Matti to pick up his bed-thing.

REP 1     But, Jesus healed Matti.  And you’re sick.

P 6       What are you getting at?

REP 2     Well, why are you still here at this pool?
.         Why aren’t you out looking for Jesus
.         so that He can heal you?

P 6       I don’t want to get into trouble.

REP 1     But you saw Jesus actually heal someone.

P 6       I’ve already got my bed-thing all set up here.
.         I don’t want to move now.

REP 2     I really don’t understand this attitude-

P 1       Hey, you know, these reporters are right.

P 2       Watch what you’re saying.  You could get
.         into trouble.

P 1       But – I want to be healed.                    9

(PR PERSON rushes in and pushes REPORTERS out.)

PR        Okay, time to go-time to go.  You’re starting
.         to upset our customers.  Goodbye, thank you
.         for coming.  Hope you drew a nice sketch
.         of our place.  (to PEOPLE)  Okay, people,
.         back to your lovely comfy bed-things.
.         Relax, or you’ll never get better.

(PERSON 1 slips away from the group and follows

P 1       You know, I don’t care.  I’m going to
.         find Jesus.  I want to be healed.

(REPORTERS exit stage left, and everyone else exits
stage right.)