Updated: Jun 19
****Spoiler Warning: Don't read further if you're not ready for spoilers****
Episode 7 and Episode 8 of The Chosen Season 3 bring a close to the biggest season of the show so far, while juggling a lot of storylines, biblical material, and Jewish culture, including:
The celebration of Purim
Simon Peter struggling with his grief/anger at Jesus for allowing Eden to suffer, with the help of John (the Apostle)
Eden struggling with her own grief and her marital issues with Simon, with the help of Zebedee, his wife, Mary Magdalene, and Yussif
Andrew and Philip, unable to fix the issues they created in the diverse area of the Decapolis, need to bring in Jesus to teach the people, eventually leading to the Feeding of the 5,000
Thomas returns without Ramah, who has remained behind to try to win her father over
Mary Magdalene helping Matthew work through an issue from his past and recognize his faith
The mute man being healed by Jesus (Mark 7:31-37)
Shmuel trying to find witnesses to testify against Jesus
Atticus spying on the Jewish leaders and their response to Jesus
Simon discovering that Gaius' slave/son is sick
King David listens to Asaph and his choir recite a psalm their working on (Psalm 77)
A Jewish healer in the Decapolis name Nashan opposing Jesus
Jesus walking on the water and calling Simon Peter to join him
The "Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden" speech (Matthew 11:25-30)
Tons of parables [The Great Banquet (Luke 14:12-24), the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32), the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9), the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32), the Treasure (Matthew 13:44), the Pearl (Matthew 13:45-46), and a brief allusion to the Wheat & Tares (Matthew 13:24-30)]
There are a lot of moments to love and I'm sure many fans will enjoy The Chosen Season 3 Finale. For my part, as I'll explain in my review below, I had several issues with Episodes 7 and 8 that left me with mixed feelings but there were also plenty of moments that I really enjoyed. Before I get into my opinion, however, let's unpack what happened in greater detail.
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What Happened in The Chosen Season 3 Episodes 7 & 8
There's a lot to unpack in The Chosen Season 3 Finale, so let's just dive right into the storylines:
Simon Peter, Gaius, & John
Episode 7 opens with the joyful Jewish celebration of Purim, which commemorates how God saved the Jews from the genocidal schemes of Haman (Esther 9). While the family of Zebedee is busy rejoicing, however, Simon Peter is busy smashing whine vessels on the roof of his house, as he continues to deal with anger over the revelation about Eden's miscarriage.
In his drunken anger, Simon ends up stumbling his way into the Roman Quarter, unnoticed by the Roman guards (this is an easter egg in reference to how Simon walks out of Roman prison unnoticed in Acts 12). Gaius finds him and takes him home to prevent other Roman soldiers from harming him. While in Gaius' home, Simon meets his wife, Lydia, his legitimate son (Marius?), and his servant boy (Ebo?). Lydia wants to know if Simon is the Jewish doctor she's heard Gaius talk about (i.e. Jesus). Gaius sneaks Simon out the side door and takes him home. As they walk home, Gaius tells Simon about how the servant boy is sick and the Roman doctors won't treat him because he's black. Gaius also confides that he is the father of the servant boy and feels guilty about it, but it's something he and his wife simply don't speak of. Simon warns him that silence between a husband and wife is deadly and wishes him perfect peace and wholeness.
Simon misses an important meeting between Jesus and the Apostles, in which they plan to go to the Decapolis. Jesus asks John to stay behind to bring Simon Peter, because Simon's presence is crucial to the success of the mission. John is frustrated and feels like they should either leave Simon behind or have another wait for him, but Jesus insists that it has to be John.
The next morning, Simon is trying to figure out where everyone went. He runs into Zebedee, who expresses annoyance at how disconnected Simon has bene lately. John shows up and pulls Simon aside and explains where the Apostles went and how grudgingly forces Simon to come along with him. As they walk, Simon grumbles about traveling to the Decapolis, pointing out how they've seen Jesus perform miracles remotely. John expresses frustration at how Simon gets treated as special and his a beautiful wife and has nothing to gripe about - only to apologize almost immediately when he recognizes that Simon is struggling. Simon finally confides in John about Eden and explains that she may not be able to have children because of the miscarriage. He can't understand why Jesus goes out of his way to heal distant people while allowing them to suffer. John reminds him that Jesus never promised that they'd be exempt from suffering and that Eden could have miscarried just as easily if he wasn't following, but Simon is still mad when they arrive and find Jesus and the crowds.
In Episode 8, Simon is present as the crowds gather around Jesus near the Decapolis and plays his part in the unfolding events (described more below, since they aren't really Simon's story). He's clearly still annoyed and frustrated throughout the time, as we see, for example, when Andrew tells him that the crowds are hungry and he responds that nothing is forcing them to stay. Andrew is frustrated at him and needs to be encouraged to be gracious. Simon insists that Jesus is capable of doing whatever he wants so what they do doesn't really matter. Even after the miraculous Feeding of the 5,000, when all the other disciples are marveling, Simon isn't impressed and stalks off to get them a boat back home. He's encouraged to have faith but insists that faith isn't his problem.
Later, as the Apostles are rowing the boat back to Capernaum, they get caught up in a massive storm and are making no progress, although Simon pushes them to keep going instead of turning back. Suddenly, John notices a figure walking on the waves (echoing Psalm 77, which Eden is reading with Yussif) and points it out to Simon, who tells everyone to stop [the pattern of John noticing and understanding things before Simon comes up a few times in Scripture (e.g. John 20:3-9)]. Simon says if Jesus is who he says he is, he should invite Simon to walk out to him on the water, and Jesus insists that he can do so, if he has faith. The other Apostles aren't so sure, but Simon steps out.
As he's walking on the waves, Simon confronts Jesus about how he seems to chase after the problems of Gentiles while ignoring their personal problems. Jesus responds by repeating his invitation for Simon to come to him for rest. Simon insists that his problem hasn't been faith - that he's given everything to follow, but Jesus explains that trials prove the genuineness of our faith (an allusion anticipating 1 Peter 1:6-7) and tells Simon to keep his eyes on him. Of course, Simon immediately gets distracted and begins to sink, but with the helps of Eden's prayers (more on that below) he is pulled out of the waters by Jesus (while Yuss. Simon grabs ahold of Jesus and begs Jesus to never let him go. Jesus explains to Simon that he has a lot of hard things planned for him and that he needs to keep his eyes on him. He tells Simon that he's always here and though he may let him go hungry for a time, he will always feed him. Jesus then calms the storm. Later, in a final montage, we see Simon return home and joyfully reunite with Eden.
Eden, Zebedee, Salome, Dasha, & Yussif
Although Eden's storyline is obviously intertwined with Simon's, they actually spend relatively little time on screen together and so it's helpful to look at them separately.
Eden's story is set up thematically by the opening teaser of Episode 8, in which David and one of his pregnant queens (perhaps Bathsheba, pregnant with Solomon?) get to hear Asaph and his choir perform Psalm 77. The Psalm establishes the idea of crying out to God in the midst trouble and grief.
Early in Episode 8, Eden is confronted by Zebedee, his wife, and Mary Magdalene, who want to know what the problem is with Simon. Zebedee is annoyed at Simon's insolence but acknowledges that he is trying to be a better man and is in a much better place than his father Jonah ever was. Eden confides that the issue isn't just with Simon - it's with both of them. Zebedee puts his foot in his mouth, asking Eden if she's pregnant, but his wife and Mary quickly pick up on what's actually going on and ask Zebedee to let them talk privately with Eden. Eden confides about the miscarriage and how she hasn't yet healed. They wonder if it's tied to how she hasn't properly completed the ritual of purification - and also if she just needs space to grieve. Eden expresses her frustration that Jesus healed and purified Veronica and gave her joy but hasn't done so for her. The women decide that Eden should visit the synagogue to listen to God's word.
Eden arrives at Yussif's office and shares her story with him. He offers her his condolences and admits that Torah has very little to say about her situation and tries to sympathize with what Simon must be going through, being caught between her loss and such a momentous cause. Nevertheless, he understands why she would be angry with Simon. Noting how Eden was only able to wash in the sea and not in the ritual cistern, he wonders whether doing so in a prayerful state of mind might help her. When Eden's mother, Dasha, insists on a joyful and uplifting reading from Torah, Yussif points out that that would not be true to her situation and instead suggests that they read a psalm of desperation to draw them closer to God. He reads through Psalm 77, which begins by invoking desperation and anguish, but eventually takes a turn toward remembering the deeds of the Lord (Psalm 77:10-11). Eden is clearly affected. Later, as Simon is having his encounter with Jesus on the Sea of Galilee, we see Eden descending down into the ritual bath, praying a ritual prayer of purification and praying for God to not let Simon go. She submerges herself into the bath even as Simon begins to sink and they both remerge at the same time, signaling how they've both been pulled out of their downward spiral by Jesus. As already noted, during the final montage, Simon and Eden have a joyful reunion when Simon returns.
Andrew, Philip, the Apostles, & the Crisis in the Decapolis
Near the beginning of Episode 7, Andrew and Philip are walking home, having revisited the Decapolis. Philip is lost in thought, worried that they've only made matters worse, while Andrew, frustrated, keeps pressing him to hurry up. Philip ends up stubbing his toe badly - a fitting end to their bloody trip. Andrew is surprised that Philip isn't handling things better, given his time with John the Baptist. Philip points out how they've caused a multi-ethnic crisis that could lead to bloodshed and insists that they've failed. When they arrive back in Capernaum, they tell Judas how they've only made the situation in Decapolis worse by telling the Parable of the Banquet. He understands immediately: they've angered the Jews (since it implies the Gentiles are welcomed) and insulted the Gentiles (since it implies that they are second-class). Judas suggests that they ask for Jesus' help.
The topic of the Gentiles is briefly discussed amongst some of the other disciples during the following scene. Simon Z points out that the Gentile rulers think that they've gathering ash for some kind of violent plot. When they hear about what happened with Andrew and Philip, Big James is against intervening, but the other point out that Isaiah prophecies that the Servant shall bring justice to the nations (e.g., Isaiah 42:1). Matthew also points out that, having been studying the genealogy of Jesus, he's noticed several Gentiles that feature prominently in it (allusion to Matthew 1:1-17).
Later, Jesus asks Philip and Andrew about what went wrong and affirms their decision to use a parable (and not to use the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares/Weeds, which can be misunderstood - a nod to how it's been used to justify violence and inquisitions in church history). Philip and Andrew give more information on the situation in the Decapolis: their preaching has inadvertently converted pagan priests and augurs, which has had downstream effects on the economy of the area, leading to ethnic strife. Big James doesn't think it's a good idea to send Jesus into such a fraught situation, but Jesus insists on going. He comforts Andrew and Philip, pointing out that when you carry heavy things, sometimes it gets dropped, and that's okay.
The Apostles travel toward the Decapolis. In order to protect them from the unrest, Leander, the messenger from Episode 6, meets them outside the city, along with a boy, Telemachus, and his deaf/mute father. Telemachus asks Jesus to heal his father, despite the protests of the disciples that there are more important things, and Jesus rewards his faith by doing so, asking only that they keep it quiet to avoid drawing unwanted attention (Mark 7:31-37). Unfortunately, a local Jewish healer, Nashan, arrives and takes offense at how Jesus is consulting with Greeks like them - and that he's healed a man that he deemed to be punished by God.
At this point, crowds begin to gather. First, a group of Syrophoenicians arrive. They demand to see the miraculous signs that they've heards rumors of, especially since the unrest caused by Jesus' followers have cost them their homes. They're followed by a group of Nabataeans arrive, who ridicule the idea of the Messiah, some local Jews, who take issue with Jesus consorting with Gentiles. The Apostles question whether they need to get to higher ground.
The storyline picks up in Episode 8, with the Nabataeans complaining that the Apostles are unable to share and live out Jesus' teaching. Jesus invites the crowd to listen while he talks to his Apostles. He asks the Apostles what healed Veronica and initially they claim it was the power that went out from his cloak. Jesus corrects them, by pointing out that faith is what healed her, not the cloak, and he explains to the mixed crowd that faith in him is what is most important. The disciples recognize that they lack faith and so Judas asks Jesus to increase their faith. Jesus goes on to point out that they only need faith as small as a mustard seed to uproot a mulberry tree (Luke 17:5-6) or even to cast a mountain into the sea (Matthew 17:20) - the issue is not the size of their faith but the object, namely, Jesus/God and his promises. Jesus explains that other people will only listen to the Apostles if they see them displaying secure faith. As an example of secure faith, a man with an infected leg arrives, asks Jesus to heal it, and runs off rejoicing. Immediately, all the combating factions that have been watching are amazed and decide to sit down and listen more to what Jesus has to say.
Jesus now begins to engage with representative of each faction, learning more about how the preaching of his disciples caused a breakdown in the social order of the city. The conversation is fraught with sniping between the Gentiles and Jews over their respective religious practices and differences and even Big James and John get triggered, but Jesus is able to keep the peace. The local Jews are frustrated that Jesus is presenting a new way that involves including Gentiles when the prophets command them to seek the ancient paths (Jeremiah 6:16) although it's pointed out to them that the prophets also foretold how God would do a new thing (e.g., Isaiah 43:18-19). Nevertheless, they want no part of a feast that involves Gentiles. The Gentile factions, on the other hand, are intrigued, but they want to know why Jesus inspires such polarized responses and so, after arranging the Apostles as a kind of living telephone/speaker system, he tells the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9).
The crowds continue to grow and grow as people arrive from neighboring cities. Jesus keeps preaching into the night, explaining that he faces opposition from Jews just as much as Gentiles in the cities in which he preaches and does miracles. He points out that those who are listening to him eagerly ultimately have more wisdom than the high and learned religious leaders and thanks God for revealing himself to them and invites them to come to him for rest (Matthew 11:25-30).
Judas and Matthew recognize that their must be thousands there. Andrew is worried that the people are out of food and some haven't eaten for days. He begins looking for food. The next day, Jesus is telling the Parable of 2 Sons working in the vineyard to talk about how repentant Gentiles can be welcomed and faithless Jews can be rejected (Matthew 21:28-32) and the Parables of the Treasure (Matthew 13:44) and the Pearl (Matthew 13:45-46) to talk about the value of the Kingdom. Meanwhile, Andrew continues looking for food and Telemachus offers him fish and bread (and not just bread - barley bread a joke on the distinction between the different accounts of the Feeding of the 5,000) . The disciples are debating the food situation while Jesus is teaching and so Little James finally decides to interrupt him to ask for help. Jesus insists that they give the people food to eat. When Andrew and Telemachus apologetically bring the five loaves and fish, Jesus insists he can do a lot with it, which Thomas can tell is a sign of a miracle, remembering the water into wine.
After Jesus has blessed the bread, he continues to tell parables [the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32)], while the Apostles distribute the five loaves and fish into twelve baskets. The disciples are surprised when, having closed their baskets for a moment, they open them up to discover that they are brimming over with bread and fish. Jesus thanks the crowd for staying so long to receive spiritual food and invites them to enjoy the physical food as well, while the disciples distribute the bread and fish.
Later, after the crowd has had its fill, the Apostles bring back their baskets, still brimming over with bread and fish and note how Jesus gave them more than they needed. Matthew notes that he isn't even surprised anymore and John points out that, like Simon said, Jesus always achieves what he intends. The crowds disperse and head home.
Matthew & Mary Magdalene
Toward the beginning of Episode 7, Mary takes Matthew aside and asks about the tassels that she found in Episode 6 while looking for money. Matthew is annoyed that she's been looking through his personal things and storms off. Later, however, he comes back and apologizes to Mary, who also apologizes for invading his privacy. Matthew explains that he's been off in the wilderness like Jesus but when he walked in a bunch of mud, he took it as a sign that he should turn around and apologize and explain himself to Mary.
We get a flashback to Matthew working in the tax booth with Gaius. An old man arrives and begins chatting with him. Matthew is shocked at how much debt the man has accrued - especially given how little income he has. The man explains that he's bought the debt of all of his children and put it under his own name, a feat that really impresses Matthew. The man recognizes that he is about to meet his maker and is content to go to a Roman labor camp, knowing that he won't last long - an act of symbolic self-sacrifice. He gives Matthew his last object of value - some prayer tassels that date back to the exile. Though Matthew insists he has no use for these right now and wants to sell them off to pay the man's debt, the man is confident that one day Matthew will learn the value of the gift and insists that he keep them.
Back in the present, Matthew tells Mary how he kept the tassels out of repect for the man and as a reminder of his sins against his people. When he confides how ashamed he feels to her, Mary encourages him, explaining that what the man really wanted is for Matthew to share his faith and that he would be very happy to see that Matthew has indeed come to faith. She confides in Matthew about her near suicide in Episode 1 of Season 1 and how God sent a dove to pull her back and suggests that this man was Matthew's dove. Mary points out that the painfulness of life can lead people to believe that the world is full of scarcity, not abundance but that occasionally there are moments when the world expresses its longing to be whole and God steps in. She encourages Matthew to move beyond shame and embrace the life of faith by taking proud ownership of the tassels.
Later, Matthew asks Thad to help him add the tassels to his garment. In a funny/awkward moment involving Matthew not wanting to undress in front of others, they discuss how the 600 threads and 13 knots represent the 613 laws of the Torah and how God's word should surround them all day long. When the Apostles eventually set out for the Decapolis, Matthew is proudly sporting his tassels.
Shmuel, Yanni, Atticus, & Nashan
Near the beginning of Episode 7, Shmuel is eagerly interviewing a witness about a man named Jesus who claimed to be the Messiah and scammed him out of money. Eventually, however, Shmuel realizes that the witness had merely been conned by a swindler and in frustration sends him away.
Outside of the Temple, Atticus interrogates a Jewish leader about who the authority on rogue preachers is. He learns that it's Rabbi Yanni (Shmuel's friend/partner).
During Episode 8, as I've noted above, when Jesus heals a deaf/mute Gentile, it offends a local Jewish healer named Nashan. Nashan travels to Jerusalem, where he's a fish out of water, lacking the proper prayer tassels and violating the prohibition against wearing a garment woven out of two types of fabric (Deuteronomy 22:11). Although Shmuel shows nothing but contempt for Nashan, he eagerly listens to his testimony about how Jesus of Nazareth is consorting with Gentiles. As Nashan leaves Shmuel's quarters, he encounters Atticus, who has recovered his lost mule. Atticus (who is disguised as a normal person) asks Nashan to tell him more about the important news that brought him from so far away.
Later, Shmuel, Yanni, and an elder Pharisee are journeying toward Decapolis in a carriage. The elder Pharisee is annoyed at how Shmuel summoned him in the middle of the night to travel to the Decapolis. Shmuel points out that Shammai insists on strict adherence to the letter of God's law and serving God should be their top priority. The elder Pharisee thinks Shmuel is arrogant, but Shmuel explains that he is merely doing what Shammai told him to do: finding abundant evidence to condemn Jesus. Nevertheless, the elder Pharisee questions the value of tracking down a single rogue preachers around the Decapolis, where there is all kinds of religious syncretism. When Shmuel claims that Jesus is a sorceror, the elder points out that sorcery cases are unwieldy. Meanwhile, Atticus is trailing their carriage.
Shmuel and the Pharisees arrive just after Jesus has finished teaching and the crowds have begun to disperse. Shmuel frantically begins interrogating travelers, seeking the three witnesses needed to establish a crime according to the Law of Moses. One man tells him how Jesus multiplied bread and fish and they all ate together - which scandalizes the Pharisees, since it means Jesus broke bread with Gentiles. They're even more horrified when Leander shares how Jesus said men will come from east and west to sit and eat with Jesus (Matthew 8:11).
Shmuel is looking for more witnesses but having no luck when he meets Jesus. Jesus in pity invites Shmuel to pray with him, noting that he looks troubled. There's a brief moment where it seems like Shmuel may be softening but he ends up responding that he is troubled and quotes Psalm 13, questioning how long his enemy will be exalted over him. Jesus says he knows what it's like to lose something - he's losing time. He goes up into the hills to pray and again invites Shmuel to come with him.
Thomas & Ramah
Thomas and Ramah only get a very brief couple beats in Episodes 7 & 8. Thomas returns back to Capernaum near the beginning of Episode 7 and is clearly downcast. He explains to the others that the situation is complicated. Kafni hasn't said no to his proposal, but he also hasn't said yes. Moreover, Ramah has decided to stay back home to keep working on her father. We later return to them both in the closing montage of Episode 8 and see that Thomas is praying and Ramah is busy studying the Torah, using the ability to read that Mary taught her in Season 2.
The Chosen Season 3 Episodes 7 & 8: Review
Like I noted above, I believe most fans will enjoy Episodes 7 and 8 of The Chosen Season 3 and I myself enjoyed a great deal of it. Nevertheless, I believe one of my roles is to provide constructive criticism of The Chosen that is fair but honest. I try to not be a knee-jerk critic or alarmist, denouncing every little creative change to Scripture as heresy, but I also try to not be a sycophant, defending every creative direction that the show takes. With that spirit, I'd like to point out several issues I had with Episodes 7 and 8 of The Chosen Season 3:
Perhaps I will change my tune after I see what happens in Season 4, but I struggle to understand why we didn't get a proper conclusion to the storyline involving Gaius and his servant child. Throughout this season, we've been getting so much set up and not paying off that set up felt like a strange and anticlimactic choice. If the show wanted to delay Gaius' big moment, it could have introduced a major new obstacle that discouraged him from reaching out to Jesus, instead of simply leaving him out of Episode 8 completely.
I don't know why the show didn't circle back to Quintus and the Tent City situation, which was set up as one of the major problems of the season. From my perspective, it would have made a lot more sense (from a storytelling perspective) for the Feeding of the 5,000 to have been caused by Quintus evicting the Tent City pilgrims, instead of introducing a completely new problem (the Decapolis) so late in the season.
I also don't know why we didn't circle back to John, except for a short shot of him in prison during the final montage. John's death is canonically supposed to precede the Feeding of the 5,000 (Matthew 14). Although I'm okay with the show making changes to the biblical chronology for story reasons, I actually think it would have served the story far better to have him die. It would have allowed Jesus to connect with Simon and Eden's experience of grief and it would have connected with how the disciples have been so worried recently about protecting Jesus from violence.
Speaking of the Feeding of the 5,000, John suggests that afterward, the crowd attempts to crown Jesus as their military leader/king (John 6:15). I think this was also a missed opportunity - although it would have required a primarily Jewish crowd.
I think Shmuel's final moment would have felt more impactful if he had been included a little bit more earlier in the season.
Introducing Problems Too Late in the Season
In storytelling, the problems that take place at the climax should generally be introduced early on in order to ensure that we care about them. The Season 3 Finale had too many problems that were introduced late in the season instead of resolving the problems introduced earlier in Season 3.
The main example of this is the Decapolis plot. It came out of nowhere, with a brief hint in Episode 6. As a result, Episodes 7 & 8 got bogged down with setting up a new problem and a lot of new characters. To make matters worse, we don't even have time to really see the problem itself. "Show, don't tell" is one of the golden rules of writing, but because of how late the Decapolis situation was introduced, the show is forced to do a lot of telling, not showing. We're only told about Andrew and Philip's trip, we're only told about the chaos in the city, we're only told about the problems faced by the various factions. If we'd been shown these things, we would feel the stakes much more strongly. Instead, the "crisis" doesn't feel nearly as dire as the characters claim it is and the final episode doesn't feel as climactic as it could have. Alternatively, as I noted above, the show could have developed the Feeding crisis out of the Tent City situation, which already was set up.
Matthew's storyline also felt like it came out of nowhere. There hasn't been any hint that he's been struggling since he was reconciled with his parents. Although Mary finds the tassels in Episode 6, we have no context to understand what they mean and so it doesn't count as actual set up. I liked the story well enough but it felt extraneous. That felt even more true because Matthew didn't really do anything with the revelation he had, other than tying the tassel on his robe. It would have felt more significant if Matthew had an opportunity to do something in Episode 8 that required faith. As it was, I would have preferred if they deleted this vignette in order to make space for something else.
Nashan was yet another last minute problem. Maybe the show is setting him up as a future threat, but he felt kind of unnecessary.
I didn't find the different factions of the Decapolis to be very engaging. This may be because of how late they were introduced, but some of them also felt like shallow caricatures instead of realistic characters.
It kind of felt like there was no reason for Thomas to be back, other than to make sure that there were twelve disciples to do the Feeding of the 5,000. I wish the show either provided a clearer reason for his decision to return without Ramah or had left him on his mission.
I mostly liked the Simon/Eden stuff and how Yussif responded. However, I wish the show made Eden's motivation clearer. Was she primarily still grieving her miscarriage or was she dealing with Simon's response? That felt a little muddled. As a result, at times the advice that people gave her seemed like a confusing mix - sometimes people were focused on comforting her and letting her grieve while at other times they seemed more focused on Simon. I get that life is complex and a person in her situation might deal with both, but, in a stylized depiction of real life like a show, more clarity would have helped.
Most of the walking on water scene worked for me and I get how hard that scene must have been but Jesus seemed to just be standing on a platform just beneath the water and that felt fake.
Okay, I know that was a lot more criticism than I've offered previous episodes, and so it may give the impression that I hated Episodes 7 & 8. While they may not be my favorite episodes of Season 3, I still feel like the Finale shows evidence of how the show has grown and I enjoyed a lot about it:
Great Character-Character Dynamics
Andrew & Philip, Andrew/Philip & Judas, Matthew & Mary, Matthew & the Old Guy, Simon & Gaius, Simon & Zeb, Simon & John, Matthew & Thad, Yussif & Eden, Shmuel & the Elder Pharisee, and Jesus & Shmuel were all great
Jesus' final encounter with Simon on the waters was particularly powerful and the show provided an interesting new dimension to the well known scene
More generally, there were a lot of small interactions between the Apostles that were engaging
Engagement with Scripture
There were a lot of little biblical easter eggs for careful viewers (e.g., the allusions to 1 Peter & the genealogy of Matthew)
The show presented Jesus' parables in some clever ways that were designed to keep viewers engaged: having Philip and Andrew tag team retell the Great Banquet, while clearly feeling down/frustrated/self-doubt, using the disciple-telephone for some parables, creating background drama, etc.
The opening teasers (the Purim Feast with the retelling of Ether in Episode 7 and the King David jam session in Episode 8) connected the Old Testament in some interesting ways that worked well.
There were also several small quotations and allusions to Scripture, which I've mostly tried to include above.
While other problems were introduced too late, the Simon and Eden plot was an example of a problem that was established gradually over the course of the season and finally paid off in the conclusion. I don't think it's an accident that it was also the more emotionally impactful moment of the episode.
Mary's advice to Matthew is also arguably a pay off of what she learned from Tamar in Episode 6.
Other Good Stuff
Generally, I think the show did a good job at depicting some hard to depict miracles (the Feeding of the 5,000 could have looked hokey but instead felt believable, and other than my issue with Jesus' standing on a platform, the rest of the walking on water scene looked great).
The moment when Jesus first appears on the water is epic
The intercutting between Simon and Eden in the final scene worked well
The music, especially the rendition of Psalm 77 was great
As I'll show in the next section, there was a lot going on thematically. Even though I had some issues with the plot, the theme felt clear and focused (more on that below!)
I've probably missed some good things that I enjoyed. As a creator myself, I sometimes find it easier to pick out flaws, because findings flaws is part of the creative process. I hope that the amount of constructive criticism that I offer isn't taken as a lack of gratitude or appreciation for what the creators of The Chosen have accomplished. The Chosen Season 3 Finale has its flaws, but it is still a monumental accomplishment. It tackles some of the most difficult to adapt moments in the Gospels and does so in a way that is at various points relatable, moving, gripping, and even funny - all while engaging with Scripture in complex and interesting. I couldn't dream of pulling something off that would be even half as successful. At the same time, I hope my feedback, instead of being taken as hate, can instead help The Chosen Season 4 continue the show's trend of continual improvement in quality and depth.
Key Themes in The Chosen Season 3 Episodes 7 & 8
Season 3 of The Chosen has explored many different themes and ideas, but Episodes 7 & 8 help focus our attention on the dominant themes of the season. Eventually, I'd like to go back and trace the development of these themes over the course of Season 3 as a whole, but for now I'll just analyze how they were developed in the Season 3 Finale.
The main focus of Episodes 7 and 8 of The Chosen Season 3 is very clearly on faith. To be more specific, these episodes explore what it looks like to have faith that God still provides and cares for us even in the midst of this broken world (it's obviously too soon to explore the other main dimension of faith, that is, trusting in Christ's death and resurrection for our salvation). To put it in the terms that Mary Magdalene uses: "our lives are often painful, and so we think life is full of scarcity, not abundance," but faith is about recognizing "times when, out of nowhere, the world expresses a longing to be whole and God steps in and we are drawn out of our blindness." Nearly every storyline in the Finale touches on faith and we also get several explicit teachings on the topic. Indeed, because faith gets so much attention that it's helpful to distinguish at least three different messages we get related to the topic.
Faith is Precious
Matthew's storyline in Episode 7 is practically a real-life parable about how precious faith is. The old man is willing to lose everything else of value by taking on the crushing debt of his children and surrendering himself over the Roman authorities because the one thing he values most can't be taken away from him - his faith. Moreover, Mary helps Matthew understand that when the man gave him his last and most precious physical possession, his prayer tassels from the Babylonian Exile, what the man was actually signaling was that he wanted Matthew the possess something more precious, namely, his faith. The precious nature of faith then manifests itself by healing Matthew's self-loathing and giving him greater confidence going forward. Matthew recognizes that, regardless of what sins may lie in his past, he can trust that God cares for him and has had a plan for him from the beginning.
The precious nature of faith also manifests itself in several miracles. Though the disciples discourage Telemachus from bothering Jesus with the matter of his deaf father when there are more "important" matters, Jesus cherishes Telemachus' faith and rewards it by healing his father. Again, we see Jesus reward the faith of the man with the infected leg by healing him - and his faith has the additional impact of breaking through the hard hearts of the people in the crowd and inspiring them to listen to Jesus. Most importantly, we see the precious nature of faith manifest itself in the two big miracles of the episode: the feeding of the 5,000 from five loaves and two fish and Simon walking on water. In the midst of a world full of sickness, scarcity, and storms, faith is precious because it can restore, satisfy, and support us.
In case we weren't paying attention, Jesus makes all of this quite explicit in his teaching. At one point, he invites his disciples to reflect back on the healing of Veronica in Episode 5 and asks them what healed her. When Big James replies that Veronica was healed by the power that went out from the fringe of Jesus' cloak, Jesus corrects him, insisting that her faith was what really mattered. It's not as though every random person that accidentally bumped into Jesus was instantly healed - Veronica's choice to touch Jesus was merely a physical enactment of her inner desire to depend on him. Several of Jesus' parables also comment on the preciousness of faith, describing its power to do the impossible and describing its object (the Kingdom) as a treasure/pearl worth sacrificing everything to obtain.
While faith is precious and powerful, we see by contrast that the religions and philosophies of man are of little worth or efficacy. As the factions of the Decapolis fight with one another, they end up exposing how futile their own practices are. The food offered to sustain the pagan gods rots, untouched, on their altars until it is secretly disposed of by temple servants. The conversion of a single augur can leave the adherents of paganism dumbfounded. Even the purification practices of biblical religion have limited value apart from a heart of prayerful faith (I think this is the point we're supposed to take away from Eden needing to purify herself a second time). More importantly, it's possible for the practices of biblical religion that were originally meant to be signs of faith (i.e. the prayer tassels) to become worthless signs of religious status used to judge and exclude others (as we see in how Shmuel approaches the tassels compared to how the old man did).
Object of Faith > Amount of Faith
Since faith is so precious and powerful, people often worry about whether they have enough faith. We see the disciples express this exact concern when Jesus explains to them the efficacy of faith. In response, Jesus offers an important clarification. It's not the size of our faith that matters; it's what/who we put our faith in. That's why faith the size of a mustard seed can still move mountains (Matthew 17:20) - because, though the faith itself may be small, the God in whom the faith is placed is colossal.
The importance of the object of faith (that is, Jesus) is emphasized again in Jesus' famous, "Come to me" speech (Matthew 11:25-30). The solution to our weariness is not to look within and try to work ourselves up to a greater degree of faith; rather, the solution is to come to Jesus, to focus our attention and intention on the proper object of faith. This idea is embodied powerfully through the walking on water scene, when Simon is told to keep his eyes fixed on Jesus. Even though Simon's faith itself may be at its nadir, as long as Simon keeps it fixed on Jesus, it's enough. It's when the storms of this life (literal and metaphorical) cause Simon's faith to lose focus that he begins to sink. But, even then, the solution isn't for Simon to pull himself up; it's for him to receive Jesus' saving grip and then to hold onto him for dear life.
The importance of focusing on the object of our faith rather than the size of our faith is also what underlies the Yussif's decision to share a psalm of anguish with Eden. He recognizes that, in the moment, the size of her faith is almost certainly quite small and she doesn't need a lecture from the Torah on the laws that she should be doing. Rather, in her anger and desperation, Eden needs to be drawn in toward the object of her faith, that is, God and his will for her life.
Shmuel has an opportunity to have a similar experience. Near the end of Episode 8, he is also feeling anger and desperation as he sees the Jesus movement continue to grow and his own efforts to stop continue to be frustrated. At that very moment, he has an encounter with Jesus - the one he should be putting his faith in but who he is instead treating as an enemy. Jesus invites Shmuel to go up and pray with him, that is, to draw near to him, even in the midst of his frustration and anger. Unfortunately, Shmuel is so focused on his understanding of proper religious practice that he can recognize when the object true faith staring him in the face.
God Refines Our Faith Through Trials
Simon insists at several points during the The Chosen Season 3 Finale that a lack of faith is not his problem. I don't see a reason to doubt him. He has trusted Jesus from the beginning and lived in a way that has flowed out of that trust. That's precisely what makes Eden's miscarriage so painful. Simon entrusted her wellbeing to Jesus, and it feels like Jesus has let him down. As Simon struggles to make sense of what's happened, there are moments when it seems like his faith has been stretched to the breaking point, but ultimately Jesus pulls him through.
During their climactic encounter on the boat, Jesus' explanation is intentionally modeled on a famous passage from a letter Simon Peter will go on to write:
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7, ESV)
The idea both in both the biblical passage and in the line given to Jesus in The Chosen is that God sometimes allows those who have faith to go through trials and suffering. The purpose of these moments is explained by an analogy. When someone finds a chunk of gold ore, they have put it into a crucible and melt it at high temperatures in order to burn away what is not gold - bits of rock and dirt - so that what remains is more pure, precious, and useful. In the same way, when God finds faith in our hearts, he often turns up the heat and puts us through a crucible in order to burn away the impurities in our hearts and make us more useful for his service. Jesus explains that he has many things planned for Simon, including hard things. For Simon to be ready, his faith in Jesus needs to purified through painful experiences, which have the power to burn away what is worthless and make him more pliable and less fragile going forward.
Jesus Does Give Us More Than We Can Carry
There's an extra-biblical saying that's popular among American Christians: "God never gives us more than we can carry." Episodes 7 & 8 push back against this idea by illustrating how God sometimes does give us more than we can bear in order to help us grow and change.
We see this idea come out most clearly through Andrew and Philip. As we catch up with them in their opening scene in Episode 7, it's pretty clear that the job they were given required more than they had to offer. They simply haven't developed the wisdom and understanding necessary to diffuse a crisis as complex as the meltdown of the Decapolis and they know it quite well. Subsequent scenes in which they explain the situation and their response to Judas and the other disciples only serve to hammer home the point that the two of them were in over their heads - not because of a lack of care or responsibility but simply because they haven't matured enough to deal with such a heavy problem. They need Jesus to intervene directly because the matter is more than they can carry.
Later, after Jesus agrees to go and address the situation, he takes Philip and Andrew aside for a heart to heart. What Jesus doesn't say is "You two really should have been able to handle this" or "How did you mess this up? I didn't give you more than you could carry." Rather, what Jesus says is, "When you carry heavy things, sometimes something gets dropped, but you just need to go forward." Jesus is acknowledging that he gave the disciples a task that was too heavy for them to execute perfectly. He doesn't want them beating themselves up for not carrying it out perfectly. The task appears to have been designed in order to help Andrew and Philip recognize their own limits and their need for Jesus' intervention.
The Feeding of the 5,000 provides a parallel situation. Jesus gives his disciples an impossible task: "You give them something to eat." It's obvious to the disciples that they've been given a task that's more than they can carry - every idea proposed to feed the people is immediately thrown out as unworkable. Andrew desperately scrounges about for food, but what God provides him through Telemachus - the five loaves and two fish - is clearly not enough to feed such a large crowd. Interestingly, it's Little James (the disciple most aware of his limitations and weakness) who recognizes that they need to bring the problem back to Jesus and ask him to intervene. Ultimately, through Jesus' blessing, the little they have becomes enough to carry the weight of the task. However, the five loaves and two fish are only multiplied when the disciples recognize their own insufficiency and are forced to seek Jesus' intervention.
The Importance of Listening & Compassion
When people are mean to us, it's tempting to write them off. Season 3 has already given us several powerful instances in which characters push past enmity in order to listen to one another and show compassion, and the Season 3 Finale continues this pattern:
Matthew is initially gruff toward Mary. Later, however, she listens to him with compassion in order to discover the hidden wounds that she accidentally triggered.
During the flashback, Matthew himself is willing to listen to the somewhat annoying old man, and in the end the man explicitly rewards him for it by giving him the tassels.
When Simon Peter is willing to listen compassionately, he discovers the full situation involving Gaius' sick illegitimate child and gains new perspective on his gruff Roman friend.
John is frustrated with Simon's erratic behavior until Jesus provides the two of them with an opportunity for a heart to heart, so that John can listen to Simon and have compassion on him.
Mary Magdalene, Zebedee, and his wife realize they need to listen compassionately to Eden when they notice Simon's erratic behavior.
Although the citizens of the Decapolis are quite off-putting, Jesus spends time listening to the problems and frustrations of each faction and shows compassion toward them.
When Eden comes to seek pastoral counsel, Yussif takes time to listen to her problems and is compassionate, allowing her to be honest about her anger and grief.
Jesus even shows compassion to Shmuel, the most off-putting figure of all, listening to his frustration and offering to pray with him in silence.
By contrast, we also get several examples of people who fail to listen properly or show compassion:
Zeb's initial approach to Simon -berating him for being disconnected without understanding his issues - is clearly not helpful.
Likewise, John's initial approach to Simon -berating him for not appreciating Eden and his special role among the disciples instead of trying to listen to what's actually bothering him - is also clearly not helpful.
The various factions of the Decapolis are unable to listen to each other; they're so focused on scoring points against one another that they can't show compassion or respect.
Shmuel fails to listen respectfully or show compassion to the swindled man or Nashan when they try to tell him about their experiences; he's only interested in getting the information he wants.
Nashan himself seems so taken back by how Jesus healed a Gentile that he rushes to immediate judgment and isn't willing to listen.
Again, when Shmuel arrives at the site of the feeding and begins questioning witnesses, it's clear that he isn't really listening to them. He's simply looking for people to give him information that will allow him to reinforce his preconceived narrative of grievance and anger.
Why is listening so important? When Shmuel shows disdain for Leander and the idea that Gentiles will be welcomed into the kingdom, Leander explains that the Jews have hurt the Gentiles and the Gentiles have hurt the Jews, but it's time to move past that and allow Jesus to heal them all. In Season 3 of The Chosen a lack of listening often comes from a myopic focus on ones own pain or grievance and only serves to prolong and intensify external strife and internal pain. By contrast, when characters are willing to listen and show compassion to one another, the experience ultimately leads to mutual respect and inner healing.
Jesus Welcomes All
Humans have a tendency to want to reserve God's blessing for their own family or tribe, to the exclusion of others. Often, this is because of the lack of listening and compassion between groups (see the point above). Nevertheless, what Jesus desires is for people from all tribes and nations and families to dine at his table.
This idea is developed primarily in relation to the conflict between Jews and Gentiles around the Decapolis. It's clear that each of the factions in the area, including the local Jews, has deeply rooted disdain for the other tribes and peoples. The crisis in the area begins when Andrew and Philip share a parable about how Jesus wants to bring them all together at his table. The idea of coming together at Jesus' table offends them all: the Jews are offended because it means sharing their spiritual privileges with Gentiles and the Gentiles are offended because it means humbling themselves to join the Jews. Things only get worse when Jesus shows up on the scene, healing Gentiles and eating with them, which scandalizes the local Jews and the religious leaders in Jerusalem like Shmuel. Of course, the Feeding of the 5,000 is a kind of embodiment of Jesus' ideal: people of all nations brought together to feast by their mutual need for Jesus.
It's worth noting that the disciples themselves seem to struggle with this concept. Disciples continue to express uneasiness with Simon's friendship with Gaius, a Gentile. Some also express uneasiness with the idea of Jesus going out to help a Gentile area like the Decapolis and need to be reminded of Old Testament passages that foresaw how the Messiah would bring blessing to the Gentiles. Matthew contributes to this conversation by pointing out how, in his study of Jesus' genealogy, he's noticed how it includes several Gentiles, which signals their inclusion in the Messiah.
Jesus' Kingdom Disrupts the Old Order
"Get used to different" has been a catchphrase for The Chosen since the beginning, but we're really beginning to see it in practice during Season 3. The crisis at the Decapolis is meant to embody the disruptive - and sometimes even destructive -effect that the kingdom can have on the societies it enters into. We are told on several occasions how much economic, political, and ethnic chaos has been caused in the Decapolis as a result of the preaching of Andrew and Philip. While Andrew and Philip initially blame themselves for all the chaos, ultimately the show doesn't lead us to blame the entire situation on them. While it may be that they could have helped pacify the situation better if they were more mature in their understanding (see the discussion of God giving us more than we can carry above), it seems clear that some of the chaos was inevitable. Some of the social structures of the old order - pagan sacrifices, sharp ethnic divisions, etc. - are simply at odds with the new kingdom that Jesus is creating and so it's inevitable that his kingdom will bring disruption wherever it goes.
This theme is perhaps best encapsulated by the Parable of the Mustard Seed. Jesus compares the Kingdom to the smallest of seeds, which, when planted, can completely disrupt an area by becoming a massive tree. Of course, the end result is a net good, for the tree provides shelter in its branches. Along the way, however, the growth of the tree is sure to disturb the old order that preceded it.
Whew! That was a lot to tackle. Finishing up the section on themes gave me a even greater respect for Episodes 7 and 8, because that was a ton to analyze; I can't imagine actually putting it all together. Nevertheless, I'm sure there were probably a few themes I missed, so feel free to point those out in the comments. I'm also totally open to push back on my review, since I'm sure there will be many who feel differently, so please leave your thoughts on that as well!
Season 3 has been quite a journey. Of course, even though the episodes are done, I've got a lot more that I want to dig into over the next few months - characters like Yussif, Jairus, and Shmuel, analysis of the season as a whole, and more - so I look forward to continuing our exploration together. Grace & Peace!
The Chosen Season 3 Finale (Episode 7 & Episode 8) and Scripture FAQ
What is the Psalm of Asaph in Episode 8 of The Chosen Season 3? What is the psalm read in The Chosen Season 3 Finale?
Episode 8 of The Chosen Season 3 begins with Asaph performing a psalm that he is composing in the presence of King David and his queen (most likely Bathsheba). The psalm is Psalm 77. Later, when Eden goes to the synagogue and meets with Rabbi Yussif, he reads Psalm 77 to help her bring her grief to God.
What is the psalm that Shmuel quotes in Episode 8 of The Chosen Season 3? What Scripture does Shmuel quote to Jesus in The Chosen Season 3 Finale?
Near the end of Episode 8 of The Chosen Season 3, when Shmuel encounters Jesus, he quotes Psalm 13 as a way of questioning why God is allowing his enemy (Jesus) to be exalted over him.
What Scriptures are referenced in The Chosen Season 3 Episode 7 and Episode 8? What parables are quoted in The Chosen Season 3 Finale?
The Chosen Season 3 Finale (Episodes 7 & 8) references numerous Scriptures. Jesus and/or the disciples tell several parables, including: The Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:12-24), The Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32), The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9), The Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32), The Parable of the Treasure (Matthew 13:44), The Parable of the Pearl (Matthew 13:45-46) [The Parable of the Wheat & Tares (Matthew 13:24-30) is also briefly alluded to]. We also hear Jesus give the “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden” speech (Matthew 11:25-30) and his speech on the faith of a mustard seed moving a mulberry tree (Luke 17:5-6) or mountain (Matthew 17:20). We see the mute & deaf man healed (Mark 7:31-37) and the Feeding of the 5,000/Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14,Mark 6:14-56,Luke 9:7-27,John 6). We also hear the story of Esther read during Purim (Esther 7-9) and we hear Asaph/Yussif read Psalm 77 and Shmuel read Psalm 13. There are also brief allusions to laws on mixing types of fabric (Deuteronomy 22:11), Gentiles coming to eat with Abraham (Matthew 8:11), OT predictions about the Messiah’s mission to the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:1), Gentiles in Jesus’ genealogy (Matthew 1:1-17) and Peter’s later reflection on faith (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Why is Matthew studying the genealogy of Jesus in Episode 7 of The Chosen Season 3?
In Episode 7 of The Chosen Season 3, Matthew says that he is studying the genealogy of Jesus and he has noticed how it includes several Gentiles. This is a reference to how a genealogy of Jesus is included in the beginning of Matthew (Matthew 1:1-17) and draws attention to several Gentiles in his lineage.
What are they celebrating in Episode 7 of The Chosen Season 3? What is Purim? What Scripture are they reading in Episode 7 of The Chosen Season 3?
At the beginning of Episode 7 of The Chosen Season 3, we see the characters celebrate the Jewish feast of Purim and we hear them reading the story of Esther (Esther 7-9), which is the origin of Purim and was traditionally read during the feast.
What is the significance of the prayer tassel in The Chosen Season 3 Finale? What does the tassel given to Matthew mean? Why does Shmuel criticize Nashan about tassels?
In Episode 7 of The Chosen Season 3, an old man gives Matthew a prayer tassel that is treated as a symbol of faith in God. In context, the man is communicating to Matthew that he hopes Matthew can inherit his strong faith. The Old Testament called for Jewish men to wear tassels on the corners of their garments as a reminder of their need to apply the Torah in all of life (Deuteronomy 22:12). In Episode 8 of The Chosen Season 3, Shmuel criticizes Nashan for not having tassels and for wearing clothing made out of multiple types of clothing, which was forbidden in the very same passage (Deuteronomy 22:11).
What is the twist in The Chosen Season 3 Finale?
**************Spoiler Warning: Episode 8 of The Chosen Season 3 ends with the famous story of Jesus walking on water and inviting Simon to come out to him. This scene was not announced beforehand and so its inclusion in the episode was considered a twist.
What is the Decapolis in The Chosen Season 3 Finale?
Decapolis literally means “10 Cities” in Greek. The Decapolis was a cosmopolitan region where Jews, Greeks, Nabataeans, and Romans all lived together. The Gospels describe several events that happened in the vicinity of the area (e.g. Mark 5:20). In The Chosen, the Feeding of the 5,000 is depicted as happening in the vicinity of the Decapolis.
Who is Nashan in the Bible? Who is the Jewish healer in the Bible?
Episodes 7 & 8 of The Chosen Season 3 introduce a Jewish healer named Nashan. At this point, it’s not obvious whether he is based on a biblical character or invented as a new antagonist.
What is the cast of Episode 8 of The Chosen Season 3? Who plays King David in The Chosen?
The cast of Episode 7 and Episode 8 of The Chosen Season 3 is mostly the same as in previous episodes. Stars include: Jonathan Roumie (Jesus), Paras Patel (Matthew), Shahar Isaac (Simon Peter), Elizabeth Tabish (Mary Magdalene), Lara Silva (Eden), George Harrison Xanthis (John), Noah James (Andrew), Yoshi Barrigas (Philip), Amber Shana Williams (Tamar), Jordan Walker Ross (Little James), Shaan Sharma (Shmuel), Ivan Jasso (Yussif), Kirk Woller (Gaius), Joey Vahedi (Thomas), Yasmine Al-Bustami (Ramah), and Jorge Franco IV (King David).
A New Resource for Studying The Chosen
If you're like me, watching The Chosen is about more than entertainment. Bible movies & shows like The Chosen provide us with fresh eyes to see the significance of the Bible and the beauty of the Gospel. That's why I'm excited to share with you a new resource that I've created to help you study biblical adaptations & reflect on how they apply to everyday life. Come and See is a devotional journal designed specifically for studying Bible movies and shows like The Chosen. It includes sections for you to take notes on each episode's plot, your favorite quotes, personal connections, questions, and, of course, Scripture references. Whether you're studying on your own or with your small group or ministry, Come and See is a perfect resource to help you dig deeper into The Chosen.
FYI: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here for my affiliation policy.
If you liked this post, you might want to check out some of my other posts on The Chosen and Bible adaptation. I have Bible studies/discussion guides for each episode of The Chosen Seasons 1-3, blogs exploring how The Chosen adapts key biblical figures, and articles exploring the controversial nature of adaptation. I hope you enjoy them!
Artist Interviews (The Bible Artist Podcast)
The Chosen Season 4
The Chosen Season 3
Adapting Biblical Characters Series
Thomas & Ramah in The Chosen & Scripture ***Season 3***
Yussif, Jairus, & Shmuel in The Chosen ***Season 3***
Quintus, Gaius, Atticus, and the Romans in The Chosen ***Season 3 Update***
Little James in The Chosen & Scripture ***Season 3***
Pontius Pilate & his Wife in The Chosen ***Season 3***
Judas in The Chosen ***Season 3 Update***
Matthew in The Chosen ***Season 3 Update***
Simon and Andrew in The Chosen ***Season 3 Update***
Exploring The Chosen with Youth or Small Group [Discussion Guides]
How to Discuss The Chosen - and Why
Episode 1 Guide: Homecoming
Episode 2 Guide: Two by Two
Episode 3 Guide: Physician, Heal Thyself
Episode 4 Guide: Clean Part 1
Episode 5 Guide: Clean Part 2
Episode 6 Guide: Intensity in Tent City
Episode 7 Guide: Ears to Hear
Episode 8 Guide: The Feeding of the 5,000
Season 2 Reflection P1: What is The Chosen Season 2 about?
Season 2 Reflection P2: What was The Chosen Season 2 about? (Plots & Theme)
Episode 1 Guide: The Beloved Disciple
Episode 2 Guide: Philip, Nathanael, & Matthew
Episode 3 Guide: Life Among the Disciples of Jesus
Episode 4 Guide: Simon the Zealot & the Man at the Bethesda Pool
Episode 5 Guide: Mary's Demons & the Destiny of John the Baptist
Episode 6 Guide: Mercy and Not Sacrifice
Episode 7 Guide: Quintus Returns
Episode 8 Guide: Judas, Matthew, & the Sermon on the Mount
Episode 1 Guide: Mary Magdalene, Lilith, and the Redeemer
Episode 2 Guide: Mary Magdalene, Nicodemus, and Shabbat
Episode 3 Guide: Depicting Jesus in Art, Film, and TV
Episode 4 Guide: When Jesus Met Simon (Peter)
Episode 5 Guide: Mary, Mother of Jesus
Episode 6 Guide: Jesus, Shmuel, & the Pharisees
Episode 7 Guide: Did Nicodemus Follow Jesus?
Episode 8 Guide: The Woman at the Well, Eden, & Zohara
The Chosen Controversies Series
Themes & Theology of The Chosen [Exclusive for BMC Members]
Episode 1: What do we do when we are scared?
Episode 2: What is Shabbat for?
Episode 3: Who is Jesus?
Episode 4: What kind of man are you?
Beyond The Chosen
The Chosen: 9 Good Friday & Easter Episodes ***Season 3 Update***
Other Bible Adaptations
Recap & Review: His Only Son