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Summary: A play taken from the events of John 13: Jesus stating Judas will betray him, then predicting Peter will deny him. 
Style: Dramatic.     Duration: About 13 minutes long but can be done in 3 sections if needed.
Actors: 6 characters (5M and F). Another 8 people can be used from the audience on the day.

 

Actors
JESUS,
JUDAS,
PETER,
JAMES,
JOHN,
WOMAN
(8 other DISCIPLES)

Script

{Props: table, chairs set round the back, door/entrance to room, large jug of water, large towel, washing up bowl, soup bowls and spoons, bread rolls/french bread. Piece of wood to knock on or bell to press}

[JESUS and DISCIPLES enter. JAMES knocks on the door/rings bell]

WOMAN: [opens the door] Come in. Welcome, the meal is almost ready.

[DISCIPLES enter house, WOMAN shows each to his seat, DISCIPLES sit around the table]

JESUS [stays outside, walks across front of stage .To audience:] It’s nearly time. Tonight, my hour has come. Soon I will be leaving this world... and going to my Father.

JAMES: [shouts from the door of the house] Jesus, where are you? [sees JESUS]  Oh, are you coming? The meal is about to be served.

JESUS: I’ll be there in a minute, James. [JAMES goes back in. To audience:] I want to show my disciples just how much I love them. Show them that my love for them is real - right up to the end.

JUDAS: [pokes his head out the door] Jesus, are you coming?

JESUS: Yes, Judas. I’m coming now.

[Jesus enters house, sits next to JOHN at the table, WOMAN gives bowls and spoons to each. DISCIPLES eat and chat quietly]

JESUS [ gets up and takes the woman aside, DISCIPLES watch Jesus and wonder what he is doing/saying]  Can you bring me a bowl - the one for foot-washing.

WOMAN: Certainly. And water, sir?

JESUS: Yes please, and a large towel. [goes back to the table and takes off his outer garments]

JAMES: Teacher? Are you alright? Do you want more food?

JESUS: No, James. I need to show you all something.

[WOMAN brings in a bowl and large jug of water and gives them to JESUS, then goes out and gets a towel. JESUS takes towel and wraps it around his waist. Pours water in bowl and in turn washes and dries all but Peter’s feet. There is silence. JESUS comes towards PETER and kneels]

PETER: No, Lord! Surely not. Why are you doing what the servants do? Are you really going to wash my feet too?

JESUS: Yes Peter, I am. I know you don’t understand why, but you will...later on [tries to hold Peter's foot, but he avoids it.  Peter stands up, backs away from Jesus]

PETER: No, Lord, no! you shall never wash my feet!

JESUS: [stands] Then Peter, if you don’t let me, you have no part in all this, no part in me.

PETER: [rushes back to Jesus, standing in front of Jesus. touching his head and indicating his whole body] In that case, not just my feet. Lord! Wash my hands. Wash my head too - all of me!

JESUS: Peter, there is no need for me to wash all of you. People who have had a bath only need  their feet washed, the rest of their whole body is clean.  [PETER sits down and lets Jesus wash his feet. Jesus stands and addresses all] And you, my disciples, you are clean.  [looks around at each disciples, then at JUDAS, who lowers his head in shame] Though not every one of you.  [Hands the woman the bowl and towel, puts his clothes back on]

JESUS: Do you understand what I have done for you? Peter?

PETER: No, Teacher

JESUS: James?

JAMES: No, Teacher, I don’t understand

JESUS: Judas?

JUDAS: No, Lord

JESUS: You call me “Teacher” and “Lord”, and you are right. I am your Lord and teacher. So, I have just washed your feet. Do you understand why? [

[DISCIPLES shake their heads]

PETER: We don’t know, Lord. Tell us why.

JESUS: As an example, of course! To show you that you too should wash one another’s feet. [DISCIPLES look unsure] Do to each other what I have done to you - follow my example. Be like servants to each other. [To audience:] I washed their feet because I love them, but they don’t understand that yet. [To DISCIPLES:] Listen, this is important. No servant is greater than his master. No messenger greater than the one who sent him to take the message.

PETER: Lord, we don’t really understand.

JESUS: Yes, I know. But even though you don’t understand, you know what I did. Do it too,  and be blessed.

[They continue their soup. WOMAN brings bread and gives them out to each. JESUS takes the bread, looks at it and gets up, visibly upset]

JOHN: What’s wrong, Lord?

JESUS: John, this bread has reminded me of something.

JOHN: Lord?

JESUS  [Looks at the bread in his hand. Stands. To DISCIPLES] Listen all of you! Do you remember these words? “He who shared my bread has turned against me.” [DISCIPLES nod]

PETER: Yes. It’s from one of King David’s Psalms.

JESUS: It is. Now, I don’t mean this applies to all of you. I know my chosen ones. There is much to tell you now, before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. Listen! Whoever accepts anyone I send (that means you) that means they accepts me. And whoever accepts me  accepts the one who sent me. [Points up. Paces the room, then sits down and puts his head in his hands]  This is the truth. One of you is going to betray me.

PETER: You don’t mean me, surely not?

JOHN: Nor me.

JAMES:  [whispers to JOHN] Who does he mean?

JOHN: [whispers] I don’t know. [DISCIPLES look at each other, shake their heads to show they don’t know _ except JUDAS who looks into his soup]

PETER: [to JOHN] You ask him. Go on. Ask him who he means.

JOHN: [leans towards Jesus] Lord who is it? Who are you talking about?

JESUS: [bread still in hand] I will show you. It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish [takes bread, dips it in bowl, stands up and walks round to JUDAS and gives him the bread. JUDAS stands up holding the bread,  suddenly, abruptly, stares at JESUS who whispers to him:] What you are about to do - get on with it. Go on, do it quickly. [JUDAS rushes out of the house]

JAMES: Where has Judas gone?

PETER: He has the money bag. Maybe he’s gone to get more bread?

JAMES: Or to give it to that beggar.

JOHN: I don’t think it was that. Judas was the one Jesus said would betray him. That’s where he has gone.

JESUS: [at table just finished eating]  Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little longer. [He gets up]

JAMES: [stands] Lord? What do you mean?

JESUS: You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: where I am going, you cannot come. [Moves towards the door]

JOHN: [stands and tries to block JESUS leaving] But where are you going?

JESUS: [comes back to address them] A new command I give you. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. Don’t stop loving one another. Then everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. [moves towards the door]

PETER: [stands] But Lord, where are you going? Why do you have to leave?

JESUS:  Peter, where I am going, you can’t follow now….but you will follow later.

PETER: Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you. I will!

JESUS: Really? Will you lay down your life for me, Peter?

PETER: I will Lord. I won’t disown you, even if the rest of them do. I never will.

JESUS: This is the truth Peter,  before the cock crows tomorrow morning, you will disown me!

PETER: No Lord, I won’t.

JESUS: You will. Not once, but three times!

PETER: Even if I have to die with you, Jesus, I will never disown you.

[All the DISCIPLES stand, affirming to each other that they will not disown Jesus]
JESUS: [stands at the door beckoning] Listen! That’s enough.  Let’s go to the garden at Gethsemane. Come with me. All of you. I need you  [He goes out of the house. To the audience] The end is about to begin. (ALL FREEZE)

....................................................

© Copyright Pam Norman 2018, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author. ...feel free to email me with details of performance and asking permission to use. Thanks, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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