Naked Disciple – Lyrics and Music by John McDermott
Nadi is a carpenter from Nazareth who witnesses his friend being crucified by the Romans, then three days later his friend comes back to life; his friend’s name is Jesus.
Naked Disciple has a wide selection of new, fresh, and contemporary music with rock, acoustic and classical themes.
100 word Summary
Nadi, 19, is a friend of Jesus and is his boss in Nazareth. During Passover in Jerusalem in 33AD, Levi, Nadi’s older brother, and Nadi plan to attack and kill Pontius Pilate but Jesus bumps into Nadi moments before they are to strike. Nadi must choose whether to fight with his brother or join Jesus and his childhood sweetheart Chloe. He joins Jesus and walks away from Levi. In the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus is being arrested, Nadi realises his friend Jesus is the Messiah.
This is the Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus seen through Nadi’s eyes.
Nazareth, Israel, 30AD, JESUS, 30, and NADI, 16, work in Nadi’s carpentry workshop. Joyfully Jesus sings “Simply Pray” to remind Nadi there is more to life than work and money. Jesus dances with CHLOE, 16, who Nadi has feelings for. Jesus, Nadi, Chloe, JOSEPH, 44, (Chloe’s dad), ETHAN, 39, and RACHEL, 37, (Nadi’s parents) prepare for their Passover meal and they sing “God has a plan” while enjoying a traditional meal together. Nadi’s friends are leaving Nazareth to go out exploring the world and he is feeling left behind.
Roman Guards barge into their house and threaten to kill Nadi’s parents if they do not reveal the location of their son Levi who is accused of stealing from a tax collector. After much reflection and singing a beautiful ballad “Sometimes” Nadi decides to leave to be with Levi in Jerusalem to join the uprising. With optimism, Levi sings the upbeat “Heading north” as the ride away from Nazareth. Nadi learns how to fight, and they plan their attack on the Romans. (“The Fight.”)
“Three years pass”, and with full of hope, Nadi and Levi leave enter Jerusalem during Passover. Nadi is awestruck as he sees the Temple but is angry with the money lenders surrounding the Temple. He sings “God looked down” as he is disgusted by the evil surrounding this most Holy place. Meanwhile in the Temple, Jesus sings “Praise him” as he reads the scrolls in his synagogue. He is then chased out of the Temple. Caiaphas has decided enough is enough, they must stop this Jesus once and for all.
Fearfully, Nadi lies in wait to attack Pontius Pilate when he bumps into Chloe. It is a tearful reunion and Chloe sits with Nadi as he waits for Levi. Jesus then joins them and Nadi cannot believe it. Nadi now must choose to continue with the attack or join Chloe and Jesus. Nadi has been having doubts about potentially killing another man, breaking God’s Commandments, and is looking for a way out. Crowds have started to gather to listen to Jesus preach. Nadi is confused, why are people wanting to listen to Jesus? Jesus sings “Keep my secret” as he preaches to the crowds and Chloe finishes the song as she declares her love for Nadi.
Nadi loves to write in his journal and has done so since the start. As the time to attack quickly approaches, Nadi reflects on what he is about to do and sings “No-one ever questions.” After an argument with Levi, Nadi finally decides to walk away from Levi and the uprising and join Jesus and Chloe. Nadi joins Jesus and his disciples for “The Last Supper” and watches Judas dip his bread in the bowl and leave to betray Jesus. Nadi is getting very suspicious about who Jesus is and what he is doing. Thomas sings “Doubts” as he questions who Jesus is. Nadi listens carefully.
Jesus encourages Nadi to try to change Levi’s mind, but Levi is determined to go ahead with the attack. Levi fails in his attempt to kill Pontius Pilate and he is arrested and taken away to be crucified. Jesus and Chloe take Nadi for a walk where Jesus sings the rock ballad “I will come” as he starts to have hesitations about what is going to happen to him. Meanwhile Judas “Betrays” Jesus to the Sanhedrin and tells them he is going to be in the Garden of Gethsemane that night.
“Jesus prays” in the Garden of Gethsemane, fighting the tears, while Judas brings the guards to arrest Jesus. Judas sings the rock anthem “Time” as he betrays Jesus with a kiss on the cheek. All the disciples panic and start to fight back before all running away and deserting Jesus. Chloe tells Nadi that Jesus is their Messiah. Nadi can’t believe this, Jesus is just a man like him. Nadi has always believed that God is going to send a warrior Messiah that will wipe out the Roman Empire. Nadi decides to attack the Romans to try to free Jesus but during a struggle with a Roman Guard Nadi runs away naked leaving behind his linen cloth (“Naked Disciple.”) It is at this moment that Nadi sees the spirit of the Lord descend on Jesus and realises Jesus is in fact their Messiah. The Roman guards sing “Man of our times” as they mock Jesus before taking him away to be crucified.
The next morning Nadi is allowed in to see Levi in jail. They sing “Swear with me” as they contemplate life and the choices they have both made. Jesus is brought into the cell badly beaten and now Levi is shown that Jesus is his Messiah. He asks Jesus to remember him as he walks into his kingdom. Nadi has mixed emotions, his brother is going to die, but he is saved as he now believes in Jesus.
With the weight of the world on his shoulders, Jesus carries his cross to Golgotha and Nadi sings a soft acoustic ballad “Fly down on me today” as he reflects on Jesus’s short life. “The Crucifixion” is when Jesus his nailed to the cross. Crucified beside Jesus on the cross is Levi, the penitent thief, and Gesmas. Ethan and Rachel have rushed to Jerusalem to see Levi and they sing “Remember me” as Levi convinces them that Jesus is the Messiah. Levi now suffers a heart attack and dies. Nadi comforts his parents and Chloe. As Jesus painfully suffers on the cross Nadi sings “Waiting for you” as he takes in the awful and harrowing scene. “Jesus dies.” Joseph asks the Sanhedrin if he can take Jesus’s body and bury it in his tomb as “He’s one of us.”
Three days pass and Nadi, Chloe and the disciples are back on the shores of Galilee when a stranger walks up to them and asks what has been happening. They discuss what Mary said to them, that Jesus’s body was not in the tomb. They think it must have been stolen. The stranger sits with them and eats fish. Optimistically Nadi proposes to Chloe as they walk and she very quickly says yes. Nadi sings “Call my name” as he looks happily towards their future.
When they get back to the campsite, “Jesus reveals himself.” Nadi can’t believe his eyes and asks the other disciples if they can see Jesus also. Jesus baptizes Nadi and explains that he must go back to heaven, but he will always be with them. Overflowing with joy, they sing “Been Believing” at the top of their voices; Jesus was in fact their Messiah.
Several months later and Nadi and Chloe get married and sing their epic ballad “I fell in love today.” Finally, Nadi sings an upbeat “Hallelujah” and so, Christianity begins.
Characters - summary
Nadi – 19, worked with Jesus in the carpentry workshop in Nazareth. He is Jesus’ best friend and the Naked Disciple mentioned in Mark’s Gospel (Mark 14:51-52.)
Chloe – 20, is the daughter of Joseph of Arimathea and a free spirit who follows Jesus.
Jesus – 33, the Messiah according to some Jews and Gentiles at the time.
Levi – 31, is the penitent thief who died beside Jesus on the cross. He is also Nadi's brother.
I have told the Passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus from the perspective of someone close to Jesus in a way that hasn’t been done before. Nadi has no idea Jesus is the Messiah until the spirit of the Lord descends on Jesus while he is being arrested by the Roman Guards in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The libretto contains Hebrew words and lines from the Psalms and the Old Testament, words Nadi and Jesus would have said in their daily lives. There are also contemporary references in both the music and words.
The musical explores the relationships of Nadi with Chloe his childhood love, his older brother Levi, his parents Ethan and Rachel, Jesus and his disciples. The main theme of Naked Disciple is family and social interactions in this historical account of events that happened in Israel in 33AD. Although there is death and suffering, there is more love and compassion.
Although Naked Disciple deals with Jewish and Christian religious themes, it will appeal to anyone who loves a good story, regardless of religion, sex, creed, or age.
“The Chosen” by Dallas Jenkins is a new TV streaming show that has attracted millions of viewers online and Christian music like Hillsong United, Hillsong Worship, Skillet or Karl Jobe, have hundreds of millions of views on YouTube.
Chosen – Season One trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1-FoFj8Jbo
Chosen – Season Two trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tZ7cg4D_z8&t=58s
I Surrender – Hillsong United - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7jXASBWwwI
What a beautiful name – Hillsong Worship - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQWFzMvCfLE
Holy Spirit – Karl Jobe - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPPMSfCdUng
Whispers in the Dark – Skillet - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B58OBfM-8A4&list=PLPcy1koaVSJRKAOUoeMSIMm8cb6FBIQlQ&index=19
Sample songs from Naked Disciple - in order
1.1 SIMPLY PRAY 2:450:00/2:45
1.2 GOD HAS A PLAN 5:280:00/5:28
1.4 THE BAPTISM 1:190:00/1:19
1.5 PRAISE HIM 2:300:00/2:30
1.6 REUNION 4:200:00/4:20
1.7 KEEP MY SECRET 5:310:00/5:31
1.8 THE FIGHT 1:060:00/1:06
1.9 LAST SUPPER 1:580:00/1:58
1.10 DOUBTS 1:380:00/1:38
1.11 THE ATTACK 1:340:00/1:34
1.12 I WILL COME 4:400:00/4:40
1.13 BETRAYAL 1:230:00/1:23
2.1 JESUS PRAYS 0:460:00/0:46
2.2 TIME 5:310:00/5:31
2.3 THE ARREST 1:300:00/1:30
2.4 MAN OF OUR TIMES 2:290:00/2:29
2.5 LAST CHANCE 0:330:00/0:33
2.6 SWEAR WITH ME 4:170:00/4:17
2.7 WHAT A LIFE 3:490:00/3:49