Updated: 17 hours ago
Episode 1 of The Chosen Season 3 is an ideal episode to discuss and study in your small group, Bible study, youth ministry, or family. Not only is it an excellent episode of television, with smart writing and moving performances, it's also an interesting exploration of how the words of Jesus lead to conviction, repentance, and reconciliation. It's also packed with Scripture - by far the most direct quotations from the New Testament that we've seen in an episode of The Chosen so far. Below I'll share a Bible Study and discussion questions that you can use to explore Season 3, Episode 1 (Homecoming) with your community. [If you're looking for a review and analysis of the episode, check out my recent post.]
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Before Watching The Chosen Season 3 Episode 1: Review Questions
If you watch The Chosen Season 3 Episode 1 in theaters, you'll catch a brief "previously on The Chosen video." The creators of The Chosen have also created short videos to summarize major events in The Chosen Season 1 and Season 2 that you can find on YouTube. If you watched the earlier seasons as they came out, I'd suggest beginning your discussion by watching these summary videos and then reviewing events together as a group.
To review the previous seasons together, I'd suggest going through each of the main characters in the series and asking your group to recall:
What life was like for [the character] before he/she encountered Jesus?
What led to [the character]'s encounter with Jesus?
How did [the character] respond to his/her initial encounter with Jesus?
How has [the character] continued to develop? In what ways has he/she grown? In what ways has he/she fallen short or resisted God's call?
Depending on the amount of time you have, you can decide which characters you want to focus on. I'll list them below from most important to least:
Thomas and Ramah
Big James and John
Simon the Zealot
Phillip, Little James, and Thaddeus
Before Watching The Chosen Season 3 Episode 1: Bible Study & Discussion Questions
As I noted above, I believe Episode 1 of The Chosen Season 3 is ultimately about how people respond to the words and teachings of Jesus. When I first watched the episode, I was surprised by how much of the Sermon on the Mount was included. What surprised me even more was how The Chosen was able to turn a scene of Jesus giving a sermon into a dynamic visual drama. The scene works because it isn't just about Jesus giving a sermon - it's about how people are receiving and reacting to his sermon. Through body language and other non-verbal cues, The Chosen helps us see into the hearts and minds of Jesus' audience as they hear his words and experience conviction. The remainder of the episode goes on to show us how these men and women respond to the experience of conviction.
In order to prime your group to notice this key theme, I would explore the following passage from the Sermon on the Mount:
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27, ESV)
After reading this passage together, I would ask the following questions:
In Jesus' parable, what type of person is represented by the wise man who built his house on the rock?
In the parable, the wise man's house endures a storm of rain, wind, and flooding. What do you think this is meant to represent?
Ultimately, the wise man's house remains standing after the storm has passed. What do you think this is meant to represent?
What type of person is represented by the other man in the parable, who built his house on sand?
In the parable, the storm causes the foolish man's house to come crashing down. What do you think this is meant to represent?
Why do you think Jesus ended his sermon on how to follow God with this illustration? What's the point that he's trying to drive home?
How does this teaching on the importance of obeying Jesus fit with what the Bible says elsewhere about salvation being a free gift received by faith?
After discussing this passage, I would make a couple points before watching the episode:
In Episode 1 of The Chosen Season 3, we'll get to see a large portion of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, culminating in this parable.
As Jesus teaches, pay close attention to the characters who are listening to him. Think about the struggles that each of these characters has faced over the course of Season 1 and Season 2 of The Chosen. Imagine how they might be processing Jesus' teachings differently. Which teachings would stick out to each character?
As the episode continues, we'll see how many of the characters respond to Jesus' teaching', as either wise or foolish builders.
After Watching The Chosen Season 3 Episode 1: Bible Study & Discussion Questions
After watching an episode of The Chosen, I always like to begin discussion by asking:
What stuck out to you about today's episode? What connected with you personally?
Did you have any questions about what happened? Anything we need to clarify?
It's entirely possible that those questions by themselves will be enough to generate enough conversation for the remainder of your night. However, if you'd like a more structured conversation, you can follow up by turning the attention of your group back to the Sermon on the Mount. You can point out:
During the episode, John the Baptist explains to Joanna that whenever Jesus teaches, there's something just for you - something that sticks with you.
We saw this truth illustrated by several characters over the course of the episode. During the sermon, we could see them react to one of Jesus' teaching, after the sermon we saw them struggling with the teaching, and by the end of the episode, we saw most characters take a step of faith in obedience to Jesus' teaching.
Kind of like you did during the "review" section, I would go through the main characters of the episode and ask:
Which of Jesus' teachings seemed to connect with [the character]?
Why was that teaching significant for [the character]?
Over the course of the episode, how did we see [the character] struggle with the teaching?
Ultimately, what happened when [the character] obeyed Jesus' teaching?
At the very least, you'll want to discuss:
You may also want to run through a few less central characters, although you may not be able to use all of the questions above, since they get less significant arcs over the course of the episode:
Atticus & Gaius
Simon the Zealot
Yussif (the Pharisee)
Mary Magdalene, Tamar, and Ramah
If you'd like to go a little deeper, you could explore Jesus' teaching on anger and reconciliation, which plays a major role in both Matthew's story and Andrew's:
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. (Matthew 5:21-26, ESV)
If you do look at this passage, I would focus on the reconciliation part, since it was the most relevant to the episode. You could ask:
According to Jesus, who has a responsibility to seek reconciliation?
How does Jesus illustrate the urgency of pursuing reconciliation? Why is seeking reconciliation so urgent?
How did we see Matthew and Andrew live out this truth in Season 3 Episode 1?
After discussing how each of these characters responded to the teaching of Jesus, you can shift gears and make the conversation more personal. You can point out:
Like John the Baptist explained to Joanna, whenever Jesus speaks, there's something for each of us. That was true for the people in Jesus' day - and it's still true for us today.
Whenever we read the Bible, attend a small group, listen to a sermon, or even listen to an episode of The Chosen, we need to be prepared to receive the teaching that Jesus has for us.
Now I would ask:
As you watched the Sermon on the Mount, were there any teachings that connected with you?
Why was that teaching significant for you? How does it connect to what's going on in your life?
Will obeying that teaching be a struggle for you? How so?
Think back to the parable of the wise and foolish builders. If you disobey Jesus' teaching, how will it lead to instability and destruction? If you obey Jesus' teaching, how might it lead to stability and flourishing?
Whether we obey or fail to obey, what can we remind ourselves about Jesus' grace?
The final question there is important. While the New Testament makes it clear that obedience is important, it's equally clear about Jesus' grace and forgiveness. Indeed, Jesus' grace is ultimately what enables us to obey - and that should keep us humble and grateful in the moments when we are able to take steps of faith and obedience.
Hope these questions are helpful for you! I'll be producing guides like this for each episode of The Chosen Season 3, just like I have for Season 1 and Season 2. If you use them with your youth group or small group and have a good discussion, please leave a comment below - it's encouraging to hear when tools like this are useful. Thanks for visiting and hope you have a blessed conversation!
An adaptation like The Chosen isn't meant to replace the Bible; it's meant to drive us deeper into the Bible and spiritual reflection. The 40 Days with Jesus series helps readers connect what they watch in The Chosen with the Gospel stories that they're based on and then engage in spiritual reflection. The Kids edition is written for children ages 8-12.
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If you liked this post, I've done several posts on The Chosen and Bible adaptation that you might want to check out, including articles on how The Chosen adapts key biblical characters and discussion guides for each episode of The Chosen Season 1 and Season 2. You may also be interested in some of my other content on adaptation and youth ministry.
The Chosen Season 3
Adapting Biblical Characters Series
Little James in The Chosen & Scripture ***Season 3***
John the Baptist in The Chosen **Season 2**
Lilith, Demons, & Evil Spirits in The Chosen ***Season 2***
Simon the Zealot & Nathanael in The Chosen ***Season 2***
The Virgin Mary in The Chosen ***Season 2***
Judas in The Chosen ***Season 2***
James & John in The Chosen ***Season 2***
Mary Magdalene in The Chosen ***Season 2 Update***
Simon and Andrew in The Chosen ***Season 2 Update***
Exploring The Chosen with Youth or Small Group [Discussion Guides]
Episode 1 Guide: Homecoming
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