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Friend of the Paralytic

Cast: Elias: elderly, grumpy Jewish man
Friend: young man

Costuming: Both Elias and Friend wear Bible-times costumes.

Props: Bible-times costumes, walking cane (appropriate length of dowel) carried by Elias

Elias: (Grumpy old man grousing to audience) The crowds here in Capernaum are getting worse and worse. Too many people, that's what I say. Too many teenagers! Vandals, all of them-writing on the walls, ripping up decent people's houses...

Friend: (Offstage. Out of breath) Gotta hurry...

Elias: This neighborhood just isn't the same anymore. Why, back in the old days, it used to...

Friend: Huh?

Elias: (Groaning) Oooofff!

Both puppets lie flat for two seconds, then Elias gets up, slowly shakes his head, and looks at Friend, who also slowly gets up. Friend gets up from collision.

Friend: (Groaning) Ohhhhhhhhhh.

Elias: (Indignant) Hey, watch where you're going! You almost killed me!

Friend: (In pain but OK) Sorry...I was in a hurry. I'm supposed to meet some friends...

Elias dusts himself off.

Elias: (Still miffed) Well, you'll be meeting them in the hospital if you don't slow down! And you'll send me there, too!

Friend: (Still in pain, but also in a hurry) I said I was sorry...I know you probably can't help me, but I'm looking for the house where Jesus is staying.

Elias points to stage right.

Elias: Well, it's over there-the house with the crowd around it. The crowd making all that hullabaloo.

Friend looks left and right and then back to Elias.

Friend: Thanks! Did you happen to see four guys pass by here carrying a man who's crippled? The crippled guy is skinny and has curly hair and a beard, and he'd be wearing a blue robe. They'd be going to that house.

Elias: (Suspicious) Are you with them?

Friend: They're friends of mine. I was supposed to help carry our buddy over there, but I was late.

Elias: (Indignant) So that's it! You're one of the vandals! You should be ashamed!

Friend: (Puzzled) I don't understand...

Elias: (Excited and angry) Your hoodlum friends couldn't get in to see Jesus. So they carried that curly-haired guy up on the roof, and tore a hole in the roof!

Friend: Really?

Elias: What? Like I'd make this up? Yes, really! A perfectly fine roof--ruined! Your friends lowered your crippled buddy down through the hole.

Friend: What did Jesus do?

Elias: (Grudgingly) I guess Jesus appreciates it when people show they really believe in him. So he forgave your friend's sins. And then he healed him.

Friend: Healed him? Healed him! How?

Elias: (Impatiently) Healed him like ten minutes ago he went jumping and dancing down the street with your hoodlum friends hooting and hollering along with him. Disturbing the peace, all of them! I should've called the police!

Friend: (Delighted) That's great! We knew Jesus could do it! When you're with Jesus, you can just feel his power. He really is the Son of God! Which way did my friends go?

Elias: That way. And moving too fast, if you ask me.

Friend: Thanks! I've got to catch them!

Elias: (Calling) Slow down! You're a menace! And tell your friends they have a roof to repair!

(Muttering) Aye, aye, aye. Kids these days. Why, back when I was a boy, people were polite. None of this running down the street like their sandals are on fire...

For Deeper Learning ----

Say: I think our elderly friend is having a bad day. Let's hope he meets Jesus and cheers up!

You know, when people were with Jesus, interesting things happened. In this situation, Jesus forgave this sins of a paralyzed man. When religious leaders said that nobody but God could forgive sins, Jesus asked what would be easier-- to forgive sins or heal the man's body. Then Jesus healed the man's body.

Jesus is powerful! He can forgive sins and make crippled people walk!

Have children form groups on three or four and discuss:

  • If you'd been the crippled man Jesus healed, how would you have felt?
  • Why do you think Jesus decided to help the crippled man?
  • What's something powerful Jesus has done in your life?
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