Summary: A sketch illustrating the change that came over Zaccheus when he met Jesus.
Style: Light-hearted. Duration: 10min (in two parts)
Scripture: based around Luke 19: 1-10
Zaccheus: No! No, that can’t be right. I’ve never allowed them to get away with so little tax before, there must be something wrong. After all, how is an important and influential person like me expected to maintain my position in society on so little commission. The next thing I know the bankers will be overtaking me claiming that they can only do their job if they are paid massive bonuses…and that would never do! I must have made a mistake, let’s have another look.
[muttering out loud as if doing a calculation] There’s a levy of 200 shekels for Legionaires Tax, and we need to add the Vice-Consul’s Accommodation Tax to up-grade his palace…so that’s VAT at 20%.
Then there’s the Centurion’s Charitable Tax Variation (CCTV).
Then we’ve got Poll Tax – [pause with a regretful tut] trouble is we can’t call it that any more. The last time we did it caused a riot so I need another name. Err… [thinking]… I know let’s call it Consul Tax.
Then there’s the tax we charge on all births and deaths – the Arrivals and Departures tax, the AAD tax – and of course there’s the seasonal surcharge. That all goes to Pilate.
Then we need to add Carpet Tax at 5%, Tic-tax and thumb tax …..and then my commission….now let’s see where that gets us to…
[shaking his head] Argh! It’s still too low. I’ll never be able to afford this year’s holiday on the Gulf of Aquaba unless I charge them more. Those pedallo hirers are such crooks. They rip you off good and proper at every opportunity. I need to find some way of bumping up what I get out of this taxation lark after I’ve handed most of it over to the Romans.
[face suddenly brightening with a good idea] I know, I think we need to add an administration charge for all the work involved in computing and deducting my commission and a Zach’s Tax just to make up the difference. Now, how does that look? Ah, yes. Much better. Maybe I will be able to afford a new chariot as well as my holiday.
Reading: ~ Part 1 Luke 19: 1-7
[Z climbs to the tops of step ladder in the aisle just in front of the altar rail]
Zaccheaus: Oouch! That hurt. Climbing trees isn’t getting any easier as I get older, and it’s so undignified. I wish I was 6 feet 5 with rippling muscles to match – that would go far better with my public image of being a man of wealth and influence, but sadly money doesn’t seem to help when it comes to physical stature.
Jesus: [calling up] Hey, big man.
Zacchaeus: Oh look, there he is. Jesus himself, a true A-list celebrity. But who’s he gesturing to?
Jesus: Hi up there! …Zacchaeus!
Zacchaeus: Who me?
Jesus: Yes, you! I doubt there is anyone else called Zacchaeus up that tree! Anyway, what on earth are you doing up there.
Zacchaeus: Oh…err…just trying to get a better view.
Jesus: Of what, Zacchaeus?
Zacchaeus: [evasively] Oh…err…just things.
Jesus: Well, I would have thought a “big” important man like you would get a privileged position at the front of the crowd.
Zacchaeus: Are you making fun of the fact that I am short in stature?
Jesus: No, not at all. I am just pointing out that while you may be big in the world’s eyes you still aren’t big enough to see the truth about God and his kingdom.
Zacchaeus: What do you mean?
Jesus: Climbing trees isn’t the best way of getting to see me and understanding the truth about God’s kingdom. Those who want to be big in the kingdom must approach with open and honest hearts. In fact the “smaller” and humbler you are the more likely you are to get a good view of who I am.
Jesus: Those who big themselves up in the eyes of the world and evade the truth and cheat people for their own ends will always need to climb trees to get anywhere near seeing me, but even then they won’t fully understand.
Zacchaeus: I can see you know my life isn’t up to much, despite all the things I have, but I do want to understand.
Jesus: You had better come down then so I can give you an even better view, because I’m hungry and I hear that you can lay on a pretty good meal.
Zacchaeus: What?! You want to come to my house to eat with me?
Jesus: That’s precisely what I want, because I sense a great change is coming over you, such that you will be able to see me clearly without these sort of desperate measures.
Zacchaeus: I..er…I don’t know what to say.
Jesus: You don’t have to say anything – just come on down and take me to your house because I’m getting hungry.
Reading: ~ Part 2 Luke 19: 8-10:
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