Thought it would be fun to share one of my favorite skits called Phillip’s Basket
(As taken from the four Gospels)
By Geraldine Campbell
Characters: 1 man, approx 40 yrs old or older (Adjust years mentioned in skit to fit age of actor)
Theme: Stepping out in faith, trusting Jesus, God’s calling on our lives
Length: approx 12-14 minute
Props and Costumes: traditional Biblical costume, a basket
Setting: Bethsaida in Galilee, approx 30 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Stage is bare except for a large basket. Philip, one of Jesus’ disciples, enters, calling off stage…
Don’t worry, don’t worry, we’ll find it! Perhaps my grandson is too young for chores. This morning, his mother sent him to pick up wool in her new basket. A simple task. When I went to check on him later in the afternoon, I found him playing with some friends. I asked him, was his mother proud of the job he had done by bringing her the wool? “What wool?” he asked? The wool in the basket, I said. “What basket?” he asks me, with a blank look. Oh boy. Now I know we are both in trouble. You see, it was I who encouraged his mother to give him some responsibility. He is ready, I said! Now, it is my responsibility to go and find the basket. I forget how easily a child could forget what he was supposed to do. (Philip spies the basket) Ah, there it is! (Philip picks the basket up and pauses) Perhaps he didn’t forget. Maybe he CHOSE not to do it. I remember a time in my own life when I was faced with such a choice.
(Philip walks to center stage and puts the basket down) It was a day much like today. Same sunshine, same smells in the air, same sound of children playing in the background. In fact, it was the same time of day; only a few more hours of daylight. The only thing not the same, is me! I had hair, and a little less around the middle. It was almost 30 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
I and eleven other men were following Jesus of Nazareth. What an amazing and challenging time for all of us. Since I was a child, I had held hope in my heart that I would one day see the Messiah, the chosen one of Israel. My friend Nathaniel and I would talk for hours about the Holy Scriptures, and what they said about the coming of the savior, the one who would redeem us from our sins and be the final sacrifice. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, 7) I wondered what such a man would look like. Surely he would be grand in stature, finely clothed, carrying with him wealth, and an entourage of servants attending to his needs. I could follow a man like that. For years I watched for men to fit that description, even followed a few, but every time I left disappointed, knowing in my heart that they were not the One.
Then one day, Jesus came by. I knew him as Joseph’s son, the carpenter. He was an unassuming and likable man, a bit older than me. Jesus walked right up to me, a slight smile on his face, looked me straight in the eye, and said two words. “Follow Me.” I stood there, stunned. Never before did two words make such an impact on me. They went straight into my heart, and burned within my chest, my mind, my whole being. I knew. I just knew. He was the one. I ran to find Nathaniel, and I said to him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and about whom the prophets also wrote- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (John 3:45) And so we followed.
I guess that was my first test of faith, to believe that the savior of the world would be a simple carpenter.
In the months and years that followed, we saw Jesus do many miracles. When we were ready, Jesus even sent us out, and we returned to report back all the exciting and extraordinary miracles that we were able to do in His name. Then, one day, shortly after we returned from our amazing adventure, we were on the far shore of the Sea of Galilee, and a great crowd was following Jesus because of all the miracles they had seen him do. It was getting late, and Jesus looked up and saw the crowd coming toward him, and he said to me, “Philip, where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” I looked back at him, my eyes wide with wonder, and I must admit, with fear. I blurted out the first thing that came to my mind. “Eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have even a bite!”
Another of Jesus disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up and said, “Here is a boy with five barley loaves and two fishes.” Oh great, I thought, that’s the answer. Maybe if we throw it at them and run, we’ll have a chance!
But Jesus just said, “Have the people sit down.” Good idea, bad news is better when you are sitting down. He is going to tell them we are just going to have to be hungry. That way, if they are sitting, and we are standing, we can get a head start. Maybe we can get a way before they charge!
Then I saw an amazing thing. Jesus also sat down, and took the loaves, gave thanks, and then distributed them to each of the 12 of us. You feed them…. (Philip picks the basket back up)
So there I stood, crumb of bread and a piece a fish in my basket, and thousands of tired and hungry people in front of me. Suddenly, I faltered. My knees became weak, and I started to sweat. All I could see was the impossibility of the situation I was in. Inside my head I screamed, “Lord, give me more! It’s not enough. What you have given to me is not enough to accomplish the task that lies before me. Why would you not give me what I need to do the very thing that you have called me to do?” I don’t understand you!
I was angry. You do it Jesus! Why involve me? You can do this miracle yourself. Why don’t you just make the bread and fish appear before the people? Why give it to me to give to them? Are you just trying to make me look like a fool?
Maybe I’ve had enough. This is just too crazy for me. I’ve done enough, haven’t I? I have followed you, Jesus, and believed in you, and I have performed miracles in your name. I have even loved you. But I have had enough. I’m tired too. I just don’t have the courage to take the first step toward the hungry crowd with the small thing that you have given me. If you are going to do something with this crumb of bread, and piece of fish, I want to see it first. I’m not going anywhere until you put something else in this basket.
I have the power to put this basket down and walk away. It’s my choice. Somehow, I know he’ll understand. He will still love me, I am sure of that. He’ll love me no matter what I choose. I could go back to my old life and forget I ever knew him.
But I do know him.
That’s why he asked me. He knew what he was about to do, and yet, he asked ME! I saw with earthly eyes and answered him in my flesh. I told him we didn’t have enough money. In the flesh, money was the answer. In my spirit, HE is the answer. He wanted me to say, “Lord, this is a tough situation, we have nothing to feed these people, but I know who you are, and I know you can make something out of nothing!”
I have seen the sick healed, I have seen the lame walk again, and I have seen the water turned to wine, and I know WHO YOU ARE.
Suddenly, I felt the strength return to my legs, and what felt like a mighty surge of energy went through my whole being. Although I didn’t know exactly what Jesus would do with my basket, I picked my foot up and took a step forward. I wasn’t quite sure, but I thought my basket had increased in weight, if ever so slightly.
I didn’t care though, I didn’t think about my basket anymore. All I knew was that I loved him, and I wanted to serve him, and I couldn’t live my life in the shadow of what might have been. I needed to walk forward.
I continued to walk towards the crowd, the excitement in my heart growing, my faith growing with every step. I was consumed with thoughts of their hunger, their helplessness, and their need. I realized they had need for more than earthly bread to fill their stomachs. They had need for a savior to full their empty spirits. What I carried in my basket would fill their temporary need, what I carried in my heart would feed them for eternity. Jesus is the bread of life.
I didn’t even notice the tremendous weight of my basket. As I reached the first group of people, the bread was spilling out onto the ground. People laughed and ate, and with joy and amazement, the twelve of us began to gather back into our baskets all that was left over. I caught Jesus gaze as I laid my basket down at his feet. His eyes seemed to say, “Well done Philip. Well done”.
I can’t imagine how different my life would be had I not taken that first step.
Well, I better get this basket back to my daughter before dusk.
(Philip turns to go, then stops and looks at the audience)
I wonder… what has Jesus put in your basket today?
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