This is meant to take some liberties with the true Biblical story.
This sketch carries on the Sketches > Wise Men sketch.
Caspar – I’m so glad we’ve got somewhere to stop for a breather. While it was great to meet Jesus and family, I’m all peopled out…
Melchior – I am glad that the Hebrew texts were proven to be true. After all, did not Micah 5.2 predict, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
Balthasar – Lads, I’ve got to say it. That stable was a horrible place, even worse than Ludwell (replace with a local disused building). Not even a disabled toilet for you Melchior. I’m sure they could be done for discrimination there. (Debate about whether it’s a ‘disabled’ or an ‘accessible’ toilet under politically correct speak). And talk about health and safety – animals and humans. Do these people not even care about cross contamination and MRSA..? Not one anti-bacterial soap dispenser in sight…
Caspar – While I’m sure Melchior appreciates your health concerns, we’ve just been to see the Saviour of Israel and the world and you’re talking about veterinary vexations and salubrious sanitation… Talking of which that reminds me of Salubrious Passage, a narrow alley in Swansea. It’s really true – look on a map and you’ll find it off Wind Street… (This is true)
Balthasar – Wind street? Veterinary vexations? Salubrious sanitation..?? What is it with you and your assorted asinine alliterations? I hope it’s on a better map than the one we used to get here…
Melchior – Caspar, don’t even bother to explain your linguistic dexterity to this jumped up infidel. Quite frankly I don’t think you even took the wise men test did you Balthasar? I expect you got the answers off the internet like everyone else – what was it, a fake wise man degree from the ‘renowned’ University of Dawlish Warren…? (replace with local town or uncool place)
Balthasar – Dawlish Warren? (replace name) Don’t be ridiculous mate – it was Tottenham Tech (replace name). Still, I’m just glad we made it to see the baby Jesus. Horace the camel just seems to get worse. That camel is more chaotic (eccentric?) than a leadership team meeting… Still, it was an amazing experience.
Melchior – It was, after we managed to get the gold back off you Balthasar. Seriously, it was so embarrassing. We took 3 gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, except we couldn’t find the gold – again. It’s humiliating to ask you to have to turn out your pockets in front of guests. Especially Royalty…
Caspar – Do you think they liked the gifts? It’s so hard to find good gifts at this time of year. Amazon had completely sold out of Nintendo Wii’s and with the postal strikes, Royal Mail had such a backlog I had to buy locally. I so hate shopping.
Balthasar – I know exactly what you mean. You go down to the market and you just want to get what you came to buy and not potter around trying different spices and gifts. Women like to look around but not me. I…
Melchior – (interrupting..) Ahem. We’re speaking about visiting the King of the Jews and not some perusing peregrination. I thought wise men were so above this tittle-tattle…
Caspar – One thing is for sure. Finding your way round Bethlehem, even with a star to guide you is a nightmare. Balthasar, I don’t know what brand of SatNav you bought but it was about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
Balthasar – That SatNav was a bargain from Lidl (replace with local supermarket). Still, it did give us some laughs! Remember when it said turn left in 100 yards and we ended up in a Bar-Mitzvah ceremony.
Melchior – Yes. That young Jewish boy was coming of age whereas you seem to have regressed Balthasar. Honestly the way you were carrying on after drinking that Bethlehem Special Brew… Most un-wiseman-like.
Caspar – I have to say I’ve never been so nervous as before we went in to worship the child. It was quite some moment when that star eventually stopped moving above that house and stable.
Balthasar – I honestly thought that star would never stop, thought it was having a laugh. I have to admit I was close to giving up – riding on that camel Horace is worse than travelling on a Stagecoach bus. (replace with local bus service provider)
Melchior – Truly it was an overwhelming experience, and it happened just as the Hebrew texts prophesied. There we were, at the birth-place of the Messiah, the King of the Jews. It was like we were on holy ground, just like with Moses and the burning bush spoken of in the Hebrew texts.
Balthasar – It was holy ground. And I did take my shoes off.
Caspar – Yes, as we were only too aware. The smell was so bad, even some of the animals walked out and refused to return…
Melchior – One could only bow down and worship the King of the Jews. There is something truly special about that child. How ironic that the one who is to shepherd Israel was himself visited by shepherds. The young King, visited by the low and the high classes. A picture, if I may, of his life to come.
Balthasar – And by high classes, I take it you mean us wise men. I like to think of myself as being classy. I mean, those shepherds didn’t bring the King anything until one of them started singing about ‘but what can I give him, give him my heart..’ I thought, what are you on about mate? If you give the baby your heart, you’ll be dead. And what a weird present to give a baby anyway! I think he’d much prefer the frankincense for his aromatherapy…
Melchior – (sighs and shakes his head at Balthasar’s stupidity again)
Caspar – Balthasar. I don’t think the shepherd meant he was going to cut out his heart, I think it was meant more like give his life to serve the King of the Jews. It’s an expression, not a literal thing.
Melchior – Sometimes I really do wonder about you Balthasar. Still, you did do one thing right when you had that dream about not returning to visit Herod. It just shows about God using the foolish things of this world…
Balthasar – Whatever Melchior! Still, I never would have gone back to that Herod bloke, smarmy little psycho. When he said he wanted to know where the King of the Jews would be born so he could ‘visit’ him, his eyes grew wide and he started gnashing his teeth and dribbling. Sketchy bloke.
Melchior – Still, it does show that he understood and believed the Hebrew texts, which, if I may, not everyone in Israel appears to despite their undoubted authenticity and proven track record time after time.
Caspar – But that baby Jesus being born in a stable doesn’t seem right you know. You’d have thought that a King would be born into someone grand, a palace or somewhere like Powderham Castle… (replace with local grand building)
Melchior – Ah, if I may, if I may and of course I will, I’d lilke to quote one of my favourite lines. “And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.” – Exodus 15:23.
Balthasar – (mimics Melchior). A translation of Marah means bitter, myrrh is also bitter, signifying the coming death of this King of the Jews and his burial.
Caspar – I don’t know about you guys but I could see similarities between the baby and his mother, but he seemed a bit different to his father. Did anyone else notice that, a bit suspicious if you ask me… And let’s not get started on the age difference between the two of them. Still – a lovely couple.
Balthasar – You’re spot on there Caspar. I think what gave it away was the fact that the baby had blue eyes and blonde hair, yet his parents were born in Israel in the Middle East. It always seems to be that way. They always get some blonde haired actor with white skin and blue eyes to play these part – good looking, with perfect skin and a gentle English accent, despite the Hebrew texts saying there was nothing in his appearance that people would be attracted to. Still…
Melchior – (interrupting… ) Once again, you both fail to show any understanding of the Hebrew texts. Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign (or in fact, ‘signs’): “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (which means ‘God with us’) – Isaiah 7.14 as I’m sure you’re aware.
Caspar – So you’re saying that the Hebrew texts foretold that the King of Jews would be born to a virgin?
Balthasar – True. While arguments have raged about the rendering of the word ‘virgin’ in the Hebrew texts. The word in Hebrew is ‘almah’ which despite the controversy refers to a Jewish girl in the sixth stage of growth of 12-14 years, which was clearly true as we found out as we met Mary. We know that in Genesis 23.44 the translation of the word ‘maiden’ is also ‘almah’ when referring to the servant finding a wife for Isaac. Clearly this meant a virgin.
Now, other arguments have questioned whether this was referring to Isaiah. However, it is clear that at the time of this prophecy, Isaiah’s wife had already given birth to a child named Shear-jashub. Nor did she give birth to a child Immanuel. Clearly when Isaiah spoke he was referring to the King of the Jews and was adding to Genesis 3.15 which tells us: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” In the correct rendering of this Hebrew text, we see that this person will be the offspring of only a woman, clearly referring to the virgin birth.
(Caspar and Melchior are standing there dumbfounded, shaking their heads in surprise)
Melchior – Truly you are a paradox Balthasar.
Caspar – Right lads. Time to get going again. We’ve got a long journey to go. I hope you’re right about not going back via Herod, Balthasar. This journey has been long and hard enough without making it longer still, especially with Horace spitting and the smell of your feet…
Balthasar – Believe me, I don’t want to spend another minute riding that camel Horace. But I know what I saw in that dream and no – I wasn’t drinking that Bethlehem Special Brew either.
Caspar – I wonder what will become of the King of the Jews. If he truly is the Messiah, no wonder Herod wanted to know where he was.
Melchior – The Hebrew texts are very clear. Isaiah 53 reveals that while he comes to set us free, the world rejected him. He was despised, rejected, despite never being any deceit or violence found in him. Yet the Hebrew texts tell us that, “After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.”
Balthasar – Psalm 22 tells us how much he suffered to give us life. You know what, we did right when we bowed down before him and worshipped. What can we give him? Give him our hearts…
(Turn and walk off stage slowly).