I have now watched The Chosen three times – this is because it is the best Religious show I have ever watched.
The acting is good on all fronts and it tells the story of Jesus in a way that connects you to the story.
The best part of the Chosen is its focus on the 12 apostles.
Instead of the usual focus on simply Jesus, the apostles and their humanity are at the forefront of the series. You see them at their best and at their worst. Simply put you see them as the humans they are.
One of my favorite scenes is when Matthew is officially called by Jesus to be an apostle.
Let’s start by giving some background on who Matthew was.
Matthew (also referred to as Saint Matthew by the Catholic church) is known for being a publican (or tax collector) which is unusual in that most of the disciples were fishermen by trade. Due to his work as a tax collector, Matthew was seen as filth among people, classified as the lowest of the low for working alongside the Romans in collecting taxes, and at the time being under Roman rule was the most hated thing of all. In addition during this time many tax collectors were dishonest giving people even more reason to hate them. Matthew always refers to himself as Matthew the tax collector or Matthew the publican making note of the fact that he was once a sinner even though he followed the path of Christ. Matthew was particularly self-absorbed at the time he was called by Jesus to serve as His disciple.
So, Matthew was a sinner. He was hated and viewed as the lowest of the low by those in his time.
When Jesus asks Matthew to follow him Peter reacts angrily.
Here is how the conversation goes:
Peter To Jesus: Woah, Woah, Woah…What are you doing?…Do you have any idea what this guy has done?…I don’t get it
Jesus: You didn’t get it when I chose you either.
Peter: This is different. I’m not a tax collector.
Jesus: Get used to different.
Now, on the surface, you can understand Peter’s anger. Matthew was the person he viewed as helping the Romans destroy his life. He was the tax collector.
When you take a step back and look at it shows just how human Peter was.
Peter was telling the Messiah who he thought the Messiah should call. When you think about that it is easy to criticize Peter.
However, how many times in our own lives do we do similar things.
When God doesn’t give you what you want you get angry or disappointed in God. When God pushes you down a path you don’t understand you question God’s plan. We all do what Peter did over and over again.
Another part of the Chosen that stuck out to me is the power of faith.
Jesus says over and over again when healing those suffering that it is faith that saved them.
That is a key lesson that I had never considered before watching this.
It wasn’t money or how good of a person you were that saved someone – it was simply faith and promise to go out and strive to do good in the future.
That is another aspect that we can take into our own lives today. When things go wrong have faith. With faith anything is possible.
The last part I’ll highlight is how Jesus talks to the Pharisees.
Jesus’ battle with them can be viewed as a battle against the religious establishment at the time. This of course is true – he was battling the religious establishment. That doesn’t mean that these lessons only apply to religious leaders, however. They apply to everyone.
How often do we criticize others or look down on others for the sins they commit. How often do we criticize others for not seemingly being as religious as we think we are.
The main takeaway from this battle with the Pharisees is that those who view themselves as better and more holy than others have already missed the entire message.
Mary Magdalene apologizes to Jesus in one scene for allowing a crippled man to interrupt his speech. Jesus’ response is pure gold and tells the whole story. He responds by saying why are you apologizing for the fact a man who has not been able to walk is now walking on his own two feet. Jesus hints at how powerful this act was.
This is a perfect example of the difference between Jesus and the Pharisees. The Pharisees would have stuck to rigged law instead of helping the man walk. They care more about claiming to follow God than helping the struggling. It is saying all the right things but doing all the wrong things.
The final point on this is with Nicodemus. Nicodemus asks Shmuel if God told him something he disagreed with – would he tell God he was wrong? Would he put God into a box regarding what he could or couldn’t do? This exposes exactly the issue. This isn’t about what God wants – it is about what Shmuel wants. Shmuel is blinded by a want for power and a feeling that he is holier and better than others.
This is not just a problem for Shmuel. This is a problem everyone in the church faces every day.
Are you thankful to those who helped you for your success or do you believe it is because you are so great?
Do you look down on others?
Do you think you are a better person because you give a lot of money to the poor?
This reminds me of one of my favorite bible passages(I’d be lying if I told you I have read the entire bible but this one has always stuck out to me)
41Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
The widow gave very little but she gave all she had. This is a bigger act of faith and compassion than the rich who gave but only for their own admiration.
The Chosen has many lessons that can be taken and used today.
As America has become more and more divided we have become a worse and worse country.
The biggest lie ever told is that one piece of legislation or one person will be able to fix America.
The fix of America will not come from Washington it will come from the hearts of Americans all across the country.
If you want to fix the country start by fixing your local community.
Start by fixing broken homes. Start by giving people second chances.
Cancel Culture is a perfect example of what Jesus was against.(Cancel Culture from all sides)
The reason it is so damaging is because it creates a society of people looking to destroy others.
The bottom line is that if we all had a camera on us 24/7 none of us would be viewed favorably. We all have made mistakes.
Cancel Culture is taking the worst of someone and choosing to define them as that.
People should not be defined solely by their mistakes. A society must allow for mistakes to be made. Jesus makes this clear throughout the entire Chosen series.
He picked a band of people who all made not just mistakes but major mistakes. He shows us that you must find out who people really are and not simply label them off their lowest moments. Always put yourself in others’ shoes before judging them.
Mistakes and failures are something God uses to bring people closer to him. Without sin, none of the apostles would have come to Jesus. Jesus saved them from sin and through that they will be able to better understand sinners.
We live in a society today that claims tolerance but has no true forgiveness. We live in a society that does not allow for second chances.
This is why so much lying takes place. If there is no incentive to tell the truth then the vast majority will result to cover-ups or deflection.
Despite their flaws in the end the Apostles changed the world forever.
The Chosen is a powerful series which I would recommend to the religious and non-religious. Let’s pray for its continued success.