Before there was an app and before there were even eight episodes, I stumbled on this show. Rather, I stumbled on a clip and went on an intense search for the source. I didn’t know what to expect when I paid to watch the first four episodes. Since that moment, I can say that I’ve never been disappointed in what I found.
‘The Chosen’ is the first multi-season, crowd-funded series about the life and ministry of Jesus. I didn’t realize my heart could be more captured by the story I’ve known my entire life until director, co-writer, and producer Dallas Jenkins reimagined the approach.
As much as I want to rave about the amazing cast, the authentic details, and the consistent tear-jerking moments, let me move on to describe several truths this show reminds me every single episode.
1. These people are real.
One of the most common praises is how the series successfully transforms the list of disciples’ names in the Bible into real people. People who had careers, hang ups, disabilities, families, and more. These quirks and personalities are so beautifully crafted that I’ve found myself connecting with even the most obscure of the disciples.
I’m used to seeing and brushing off the cookie cutter followers, but ‘The Chosen’ reminds me that they were people who literally walked, talked, camped, and served alongside Jesus. And down the road, these same people will suffer terrible deaths because of it.
Additionally, Jonathan Roumie’s exceptional portrayal of Jesus deeply reminds me of His humanity. He’s not someone who stares into the distance, preaches with a British accent, and only has one or two emotions. As a human, He wasn’t exempt from sweat, humor, annoyance, and exhaustion. (Chosen fans, that last one, am I right?)
2. Intimacy with Jesus is possible.
Seeing Jesus interact with his followers, family, and strangers reminds me just how relational He is. Sometimes it’s difficult to engage with Him in today’s world, because He’s not here in physical form where I can see His eyes, His smile, and get a hug from Him (things I desperately want). However, I’m reminded that even now, He listens to me, He teaches me, and He’s always there to comfort and guide me with wisdom and love. Just like with the disciples, I simply have to follow Him.
3. Following Jesus costs everything.
In a line from Season 2 Episode 1, Jesus states “I ask a lot of those who follow Me, but I ask little of those who do not.” Salvation may be a gift, but what comes after is less than easy. The disciples left homes, beds, money, jobs, friends, and family to walk in uncertainty, because they were certain about The One they were with.
I’m reminded of what they sacrificed and the conditions they endured, and I ask myself, “Am I willing to do the same?” The thought is both inspiring and sobering.
These are just a few of my takeaways. I also love how ‘The Chosen’ accents Jesus’s Jewishness which is often lost. And speaking of accents, I thoroughly enjoy each actor’s Middle Eastern dialect!
To be clear, I don’t watch ‘The Chosen’ as a substitute for my personal study of Scripture, nor do I depend on it to keep my faith in Jesus alive and well. This show is an excellent form of quality entertainment, and because of that, as well as these reminders, I will keep watching. I hope now, you will too.
To watch and donate to help others watch, go to www.thechosen.tv. Or search for ‘The Chosen’ and download the free app in your Appstore.
Meanwhile, I’ll be re-watching episodes as I wait for more of Season 2!