Denise Day Spencer

February 4, 2008

Holy Week drama: Matthew

Filed under: Creative Ministries — denisedayspencer @ 8:19 pm

By Denise Day Spencer

NARRATOR: Jesus…saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. *

MATTHEW: Somehow it came easily for me, following Jesus. I had heard of his miracles before I ever met him. By the time he called me to follow him, I guess I already wanted to believe.

Sometimes that’s how it is. Either you want to believe or you don’t. Have you ever had someone ask you a question, but you knew he wasn’t really asking you anything at all? He already thought he had the situation figured out, and he just wanted you to agree with him. If you don’t really want to know the answer to a question, you won’t believe it, no matter how true it is.

Which brings me to my story. (enter JESUS and RICH MAN) There was a man who came to Jesus one day. He was young, good-looking…and rich. Now you’d say that guy had everything going for him, right? Well, you’d be wrong.

RICH MAN: Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?

MATTHEW: Did you catch that? He thought he already had the answer! To get eternal life, do good things!

JESUS: Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only One who is good.

MATTHEW: Are you listening? Jesus take the focus off good things and onto the only One who is truly good–God! But just to keep thing interesting…

JESUS: If you want eternal life, obey the commandments.

RICH MAN: Which ones?

MATTHEW: Ah! A list!

JESUS: (as MATTHEW counts on his fingers) Do not murder, commit adultery, steal or give false testimony. Oh, and honor your parents and love your neighbor as yourself.

RICH MAN: I’ve kept all these!

MATTHEW: (sarcastically) Yeah, right!

RICH MAN: So what am I missing?

JESUS: Just one thing. If you want to be complete, sell everything you have and give it to the poor so you will have treasure in heaven. Then follow me.

RICH MAN: I should have known there’d be a trick! (exits, shaking head, as JESUS exits in the other direction)

MATTHEW: He was so proud of his good works, almost as if he were collecting them so he could take them out and admire them any time he wanted. But Jesus said the one thing he needed to complete the collection was to give everything away! **  “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” remember? Being poor in spirit means realizing you can never be good enough to please God. Instead, you trust in His goodness for you.

He thought he had it all figured out. What he didn’t know was that the Way to eternal life was Jesus.


* Matthew 9:9
** idea from Matthew for Everyone, part two by Tom Wright, Westminster John Knox Press, 2002, pp. 48-50


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