Summary: Drama dialogue, written as if a conversation between Paul, a tribune, and a narrator, with "chorus" lines for the children of the congregation. Supplies we need for learning are a listening mind, a loving heart, and a desire to grow.

Narrator: I knew very little about the people of the Way, but I did know that everyone in Jerusalem was talking about one of their leaders. We were all most upset about Paul. You see, Paul – actually we knew his name as Saul – Paul had been such a mighty force in our community only a few short years ago. He had studied with the great teacher Gamaliel, and had become one of the most zealous citizens of our city. Paul – Saul – had fought long and hard to put down the people of this Christian Way. So you can understand that we were astounded when we heard that not only had Saul stopped hunting down those who followed the Jesus way, but that in fact he had become one of them. Can you imagine? The person who did more than any other to stop this Jesus thing from spreading had become a Jesus thing himself!

And, what is worse, they say that Paul has been traveling all over the world, from Jerusalem to Antioch to Asia, and even to Greece, to convert people to the Jesus Way. Amazing, isn’t it! But I have the feeling something else is about to happen. Paul has come back to Jerusalem. And where Paul goes, trouble follows.

Why, just to tell you a little of what I’ve heard. He was sent to prison in Philippi; he caused a riot in Thessalonica; he stirred up debates on Mars Hill in Athens; and he even got into bitter attacks among his own people in Corinth. After a short time back here in Jerusalem, he went back out to Ephesus – to strengthen the church there, he said. But even the trip to Ephesus had been trouble, because Paul’s preaching had made the silversmiths of that city angry. Everywhere Paul goes there is uproar and heartache.

So he’s back here again. I don’t expect things to be quiet. My friends have told me that just this morning, Paul took four young men, Greeks, to the Temple to pray. Now the Temple is for us, the Jewish people, and not for those Greeks. Sure, there are places in the Temple where those who are not Jews can pray. But the rumor is that Paul took them right into the inner court, the court of Israel. And they are saying that these young men, besides being Greeks, are actually followers of the Way – actually Christians. We can’t have that! Not in our Temple. Not in the place where the God of Israel dwells. Why, it .. it .. it just wouldn’t be right. It doesn’t show respect.

I need to see what this is all about. Well, here we are, at the gates of the Temple. A lot of people here. What’s going on? What are they saying? Oh, look, there’s Paul himself. What is it they are saying? “This man has dirtied the Temple.”

Narrator and Children: Dirtied the Temple, dirtied the Temple, dirtied the Temple.

Paul: What are you talking about? I have not dirtied the Temple. I have not broken the rules. All I did was to bring some young people here so that they could pray and learn about God. There’s nothing wrong with that. Why do you say that I have dirtied the Temple?

Narrator and Children: Dirtied the Temple, dirtied the Temple, dirtied the Temple.

Paul: You’re not listening to me! I did not do what you have said I did. Maybe you saw me with my friend Trophimus, but I did not take him into the Temple. I took others in, others who had every right to be there. You are not listening to me when you say that I dirtied the Temple!

Narrator and Children: Dirtied the Temple, dirtied the Temple, dirtied the Temple.

Narrator: Now just look at this. The more Paul pleads, the more excited the people become. He cannot make us understand anything, because our feelings have taken us over. We will not listen to anything Paul has to say because we are convinced that he does not respect us. I feel it myself. Who is he to teach us anything? He’s not one of us. He doesn’t care about us. I think the people are right to scream at Paul, “Take him away!”

Narrator and Children: Take him away, take him away, take him away.

Tribune: Here, what’s all this about? What’s going on? I am the tribune of the city, and I am ordering you to stop this confusion. As the governor’s officer, I am here to keep order. You will not have riots in my city if I have anything to say about it. Now, will somebody please tell me what this man has done? What do you want me to do with him, take him away?

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