ROMAN COPS: John the Baptist Arrested
John The Baptist
Roman Soldier Costumes
Two Roman Guards are the "Cops" of the Judean wilderness, and they encounter John the Baptist and his crowd of followers.
ROMAN SOLDIER 1
ROMAN SOLDIER 2
JOHN THE BAPTIST
MUSIC: Theme song closely resembling “Cops” theme music
SFX: Sound of booted steps walking on loose rocks, occasional clanking of armor/metal.
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: Yeah, we enjoy enforcing order in Judea. I mean, these guys want to govern themselves, but left to their own devices, they’d destroy themselves, ya know?
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: No one can agree on anything
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: -- They’re fractured at every level, social, political, religious
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: --Don’t get started on religion.
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: That’s kind of a sore spot around here. Rome is seen as some sort of institutionalized blasphemy, the Emperor—
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: May he live forever.
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: -- Forever, yeah, they don’t take it too well the Caesar-god idea.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: And we soldiers represent Caesar to them—
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: --So we get the backlash from the malcontent element; they’ll yell at you—
ROMAN SOLDIER 2 “Rome go Home”
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: That’s a favorite, so is “Caesar’s a Geezer”.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2-- I don’t get that one.
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: They’ll sometimes throw rocks, too –
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: --No shortage of rocks around here, that’s for sure—
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: We’re always on the look out for agitators, people who’ll stir up the crowds, lead a revolt, that’s our main concern.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2 Don’t know how we pulled wilderness duty.
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: We’ve been hearing reports—
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: Did you hit on the Centurion’s daughter?
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: -- That there is someone drawing a crowd out here in the middle of nowhere—
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: --And I mean nowhere—
JOHN THE BAPTIST: Repent! For the kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: So we’ll just see for ourselves how serious this is.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: Why is it always in the wilderness? Why don’t prophets work around the spas and the pools in the city?
JOHN THE BAPTIST: You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: Yep, sounds like a live one, all righty.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: The dust is stirring already.
JOHN THE BAPTIST: Bear fruit that befits repentance!
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: Excuse me, sir? Sir? Hey, do you have a license to be gathering this crowd, here? I mean, you get people riled up with that stuff of yours and the next thing you know people are gonna get hurt.
JOHN THE BAPTIST: And do not pretend to say to yourselves “We have Abraham as our father,” for I tell you from these very stones God can raise up descendents to Abraham!
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: Leave my family out of this, zealot. And put that stone down, that’s an offensive weapon. Do you want me to run you in right now?
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: What’s your name, sir?
JOHN THE BAPTIST: I am but a voice crying in the wilderness. “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight!”
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: “Voice in the Wilderness,” uh huh.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: Does this “Voice” have a name?
DISCIPLE: His name is John the Baptist, and I’m one of his disciples.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: John the Baptist, huh? Disciples. That’s never good.
DISCIPLE: Some of us are wondering if he’s Elijah, or the Prophet.
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: Yeah, thanks buddy—
DISCIPLE: Or even the Messiah!
ROMAN SOLDIER: Just what we need, another Messiah. That can get messy.
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: Mr. Baptist, is this your disciple? Hey! I’m talking to you! Is this your disciple over here? Are all these people your disciples? If they start rioting or getting unruly, can you control them? Are you gonna be responsible for them Mr. Baptist?
JOHN THE BAPTIST: Even now the axe lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: Axes are outlawed in these parts, didn’t you know that? Who’s got an axe, and who’s destroying property with it?
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: And who’s starting fires out here?
JOHN THE BAPTIST: I Baptize with water, but the one who comes after me will baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: Someone’s coming after you?
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: Who’s coming after you, Mr. Baptist? Someone who means you harm, sir? And what about this arsonist you keep talking about.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: Let’s just run him in, do everyone a favor.
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: Nothing to see here, folks. Break it up, now.
JOHN THE BAPTIST: His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: All right, I’ve heard “fire” one too many times. You can’t yell “Fire” in the wilderness, you’ll cause a panic and people will get trampled. We’re gonna run you in.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: What’s this stuff? Locusts and wild honey. Have you actually been eating this stuff?
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: Snorting it, more than likely. Explains a lot.
JOHN THE BAPTIST: And to you soldiers, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: Right. That kinda talk is just gonna land you in the pokey, buddy. Don’t get me started on the sorry amount of piddling change that is thrown at us for dealing with the likes of you!
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: We’re going to be taking you in, sir. Assembling a mob, inciting to riot, harboring arsonists—
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: Don’t forget the brood of vipers—
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: --illegal animal handling.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: Recruiting disciples without a license. You’re a real live wire, aren’t you Mr. Baptist?
JOHN THE BAPTIST: Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth…
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: Yeah, yeah, sure. Well, we’ll make sure you get a nice smooth and straight trip to jail if that’ll make you happy, fellah.
JOHN THE BAPTIST: (voice fade out) He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise…
(SFX: Booted feet marching x2, clanking of metal)
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: So, uh, what we had here is yer basic agitator, with a dangerous amount of followers—
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: --Surprised we didn’t have to call for backup.
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: We took him off to Herod’s dungeons, apparently our “Voice in the Wilderness” has been speaking out against his royal person for marrying his sister in law—
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: (snorts) Not a smart idea, speaking against the royal person—
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: And so he got him shut up pretty good now.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: The crowd—
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: Oh yeah, the crowd. They went and followed some other guy—
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: He does a good deal less shouting—
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: Yeah, local guy out of Nazareth. I don’t think we’re going to have much trouble with him.
ROMAN SOLDIER 2: Not like that Barabbas guy.
ROMAN SOLDIER 1: Now there was a handful….
(SFX: Booted feet marching, clanking of metal fading out… )
MUSIC: Theme song closely resembling “Cops” theme music
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