[Jesus and the disciples gather at someone’s house, having been invited there for dinner. After the dinner, he and the disciples sit around and converse with their host…]
On behalf of the twelve and myself, I want to thank you for inviting us here and supporting our ministry. No, really. It’s hard to find a place that’ll take us all in at a time. So, we thank you for the lovely dinner. Plus, between walking, teaching, talking to the crowds and avoiding the crowds for some self-time, we don’t often eat. You know, schedules being what they are and all.
[Their host begins to ask questions] So, I hear you’re the latest big thing — up-and-coming and all that. Are you really going to challenge the status quo in the Roman Empire? I hate those guys being here and all.I work all the time and it’s not bad enough they trample on our religious beliefs, they want us to pay taxes to them and then there’s all the interest those tax collectors charge on top of it. What do you think?
Jesus: Give me a coin.
Host: [Hands it to him]
Jesus: Who’s picture’s on it?
Host: Caesar, of course.
Jesus: Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Give to God what is God’s.
Host: So you’re against our religion and for taxes?
Jesus: I stand by what I said.
Host: I hear you’re going to be the Messiah. What can I do to support you?
Jesus: You just did. Like I said, thanks for the dinner. Letting us stay for the night is good, too.
Host: So how are you going to become king? Who supports you among us? (yells to the other room) Mother, would you bring us drinks?
[as mother brings in the drinks, Jesus asks her to sit down].
Mother: Oh, you’re that Jesus boy I hear so much about….
Host: [looking at Jesus with anger] Mother, go away, let the men do the talking.
Jesus: She likes me.
Host: Yes, but she doesn’t count. You know what I mean.
Jesus: No,, I’m not sure I do. I hear that 50% of the people in the world are women. I don’t pretend that they’ll all like what I say, but — if they understood what I was talking about — or got to hear it, I’m sure they’d support my being Messiah.(to the Mother:) Come and sit down with us. And bring those ladies in the kitchen, too, if you’d like.
Host: (shrugs his shoulders) I guess, if you want… [the women come out] So who else is going to support you, Orphans? [laughs] There’s a vote that counts! [now chortling].
Jesus: And what’s so bad about orphans?
Host: You’re not a very good Jew, are you? Clearly, there’s something wrong with them because God has smited their parents. They must have done something wrong. ”The sins of the father’ and all that… Plus, they smell bad, and they think they’re entitled to so much… Food, clothes, money, a chance in the temple, a place to bathe. You know, God doesn’t promise them health.
Jesus: And you don’t think God wants them to have those things?
Host: Clearly not. If God wanted them to have those things, they’d have them.
Jesus: But you have them. Couldn’t you share some of that?
Host: I do. It’s part of our tradition to give to widows and orphans. Thus, my mother lives here with me. And I give food and such on occasion to the beggars in the marketplace. Plus, I took you in this evening.
Jesus: Good point. But, I have to disagree with you on the “God” thing. I think the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. I don’t think orphans are cursed by anything other than circumstances. Plus, they seem to like me, too.
Host: It’s only because you give them food. You’d be buying their vote, if they got one — and they don’t.
Jesus: I give them food because they’re hungry. It helps them to think they’re not cursed, gives them some hope that God hasn’t left them. Nobody here gets a vote, but everyone has an opinion. If they like me, that’s good. Maybe they’ll listen to me. Plus, with 50% of the women that don’t count and — what — another 5% that are male orphans, I’m over the top 55% to 45% if they counted, which… to me… they do.
Host: You’re a religious man, right?
Jesus: I’ve been told that.
Host: Alright, then, let’s get all absurd then. If you like women (who don’t count) and orphans (who have to beg, and don’t count), then, oh, what the heck… I bet you want sinners in your religious cult. What could be more absurd then that? Oh, and gentiles…. that’s a good one! [nearly rolling on the floor in laughter] I bet you want gentiles!
Jesus: I don’t know anyone but myself who’s not a sinner. You know, if I could get the sinner vote, I’d be a shoe-in for the Messiah. Not sure about the gentiles, yet, though. You have to feed the Jews first in order to be the Messiah for the Jews.
Woman:Yeah, but even …
Host: How dare you talk to our guest!
Jesus: It’s ok. I deal with them all the time…. Go on…
Woman: But even the dogs get to eat the scraps that the people at the table don’t want.
Jesus: Ah, so you’re a believer, too, then?
Woman: I could be, if you’d let me.
Jesus: Ok, you’re in. [turns to the man] what’s that? Well over 50% now. The whole messiah thing could happen (laughs)! You just never know.
Host: But, surely, you have to give up on the sinner vote..
Jesus: I’m not sure I can. It’s not in my nature. Besides, I’m not sure I can give up on anybody’s vote if I want to be elected Messiah. If I can win the sinners over, though, I’m pretty sure I’ve got the whole “Kingdom” thing locked.
Host: Probably, but they’re hard to trust. They flip flop on the issues a lot. You can’t trust ’em. They’ll crucify you.
Jesus: I’ll take that chance, I suppose….. But rich guys… them, I’m not so sure of….
Host: (taken aback) You can’t mean that!
Jesus: We’ll talk later…
Host: You better stay a few nights, with fundraising skills like that! (laughs). And if I want to support this ministry, who do I give my money to?
Jesus: Give it to Judas. He handles the money.