The Major Dramatic Question From The Second Shepherds' Play Around 33B.C., A Jewish Carpenter was executed in Roman occupied Jerusalem. After his reported resurrection and ascension into the clouds, a small group of apostles and a few followers developed into the major religion in most of Europe. When The Church realized that it needed a way to share their doctrine with the illiterate common people, it began producing plays that purely told bible stories. When The Second Shepherds' Play was first performed it must have been quite a shock to its audience; because it is a comedy. The main characters are common people just like the audience was and the major dramatic question addressed is "˜Did god send the savior and his mercy to the common people?' The many parallels between the story and the ministry of Jesus illustrate this question.
The Shepherds are paralleled to Jesus' apostles. Jesus' apostles were common men.
When Jesus picked those whom he would be around on a daily basis, he choose ordinary fishermen. The shepherds enter the play speaking to one another in the style of the common people of the day. They complained just like and about the same problems that every other common person would have. Likewise Jesus' apostles did their share of complaining. In the gospels it is told of the apostles grumbling and arguing with one another. The apostles were far from perfect. Jesus constantly had to correct their actions and explain his teachings to them.
There is also an illusion made that compares Coll to Thomas. In scene VII, line 73, Coll states that he will believe the prophets "when I see him and feel". The prophets had declared that God would send his messenger to the poor first and it would proclaim Jesus' birth. Just as Thomas refused to believe about Jesus' resurrection and remained doubtful until he saw and touched the lord, Coll remains doubtful of the birth.
Another parallel that shows whether the savior was sent to common people, is the parallel between the mercy shown to Mak and the grace given by god. Mak is even lower than the common people. The way he goes through his life is a dishonest. And when he is caught by the shepherds he could be killed, But they choose to beat him instead. This scene is reminiscent of the story of the woman caught in adultery. Although Mak is punished and the woman was not, they were both obviously guilty and both did not recive the punishment they deserved.
The way the shepherds story parallels many of the stories in the bible, cannot be overlooked. The stories in the bible that are paralleled show Jesus among the people; not set apart. Jesus himself actually answers the question as to whom he was sent. In Luke 19:10 Jesus says, "For the son of man came to seek and save the lost."