A busy day - by James Archer
Cast: Jesus; Jairus; Woman; Daughter; Simon Peter; servant; crowd; mourners; narrator. Some of these can double up.
Scene: by the Sea of Galilee
Narrator Now when Jesus returned by boat across the Sea of Galilee, a large crowd gathered around him by the lakeside.
Crowd (different voices) Praise the Lord!... A miracle!... I can't hear what he's saying... Who does he think he is?... He speaks with the power of God.....Sshhh!
Jairus (entering at back, out of breath) Excuse me please, I must get to the Teacher.
Voice 1 Mind who you're pushing!
Voice 2 Careful, its one of the big wigs from the synagogue.
Voice 1 I don't care who it is, he trod on my foot.
Voice 3 What are you doing here, Jairus? I wouldn't go inviting him to the synagogue again. He really upset the Pharisees when he healed that man on the sabbath.
Jairus (seeing Simon) Simon. Simon bar Jonah! I must speak to your master.
Simon Peace be upon you, Jairus. Master, Jairus is here.
Jairus Peace be upon you, Rabbi. (Kneels) Help me, oh help me while there is time. My daughter, my only child, is critically ill. The doctors say she is dying, and there is nothing more they can do for her. Please come and place your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.
Jesus Of course I will come. Peter, you come with me. (Going) The rest of you stay and look after the boat.
Crowd .....Where's he going?...He could at least have blessed us....I was next in the queue....Blessed be the name of the Lord.....I'm going to see what happens.
Jairus Thank you, Master, oh thank you! (To crowd) Would you please let us through.
Simon Out of the way please! This is a matter of life and death. Move back, please! We must get to this man's house.
Jairus In a few minutes we will be there.
Jesus (stopping) Who touched me?
Crowd I didn't, Teacher...Not I...It wasn't me...I certainly didn't
Jesus Who touched my coat?
Simon Come off it, Master! There are hundreds of people here, and everybody's pushing. Of course they touched you. They couldn't help it.
Jesus Someone deliberately touched me. I felt healing power go out of me.
Simon Come on then, who touched the Master? (Crowd goes quiet. Awkward silence) We haven't got all day.
Woman It was me. I touched him.
Voice 4 Oh, look who it is. She shouldn't even be here. She knows very well that the law forbids people like her from being with us healthy ones.
Simon The Master wants to speak with you.
Jesus You touched my coat?
Woman I did, sir. I've suffered misery and worse for twelve long years.
Voice 4 She shouldn't be here. Keep away from her.
Woman (kneeling) I've been continually bleeding all that time. I spent all my money on doctors, but I only got worse. Then I heard about you and the power of God. I believed from the bottom of my heart that if I even touched the edge of your coat I would be made well. And it happened. I know now that I am healed.
Jesus Courage, daughter. Your faith has cured you. Go home in peace, and be free for ever from this trouble.
Woman Home. Home in peace. Praise the Lord! Thank you. (Exit)
Jairus (touching Jesus on the shoulder) Teacher, please, my daughter. Every moment counts.
Servant (entering) Master Jairus. she's dead. It's no good the healer coming now
Jairus Master, she's dead. We are too late. I had hoped....
Jesus Now, don't be afraid. Don't stop believing and trust me. She will be all right.
Jairus Master, I do trust you. Please come. (Move to house)
Mourner 1 (At door. Background wailing and sombre music) Cousin Jairus, my heart bleeds for you. Jesus of Nazareth, what a pity you weren't here earlier. She was a lovely child. See how everyone weeps for her.
Jesus Stop crying, she's not dead. She is fast asleep.
Mourner 1 No, Teacher. She is dead all right. I've seen her.
Jesus I tell you, she is not dead but asleep.
Mourner 1 You haven't even seen her. Do you think we can't tell if someone is dead?
Jesus (to Jairus) I want everyone to leave.
Mourner 1 You want everyone to leave? It's none of your business. You're too late.
Jairus Please, cousin, do what the Teacher says.
Mourner 1 Well, we aren't going to stay where we aren't wanted. But I'm telling you, don't let this fellow build up false hopes. Your daughter is dead.
Mourner 2 What's happening?
Mourner 1 The teacher here thinks we can't recognise a corpse when we see one.
Mourner 2 What's up with him?
Mourner 1 He says young Hannah is just asleep. (Guffaws) Come on everyone, we're not wanted here. (They leave)
Jesus (after moving to sick room) Take the blanket away. (They do) Little lamb. Little lamb, wake up. (Girl rises) Give her something to eat. She's hungry.
Jairus (kneeling) Thank you for your love for us. Praise the Lord, oh my soul; let all my being praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, oh my soul, and do not forget how kind he is.
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