Physician, Heal Thyself (Exploring The Chosen Season 3 Episode 3 with Youth or Small Group)
Updated: 5 days ago
Episode 3 of The Chosen Season 3 was released on December 25 at 7:00 PM. The episode is titled "Physician, Heal Thyself" - a reference to Luke 4:16-30, where Jesus visits his hometown of Nazareth and announces that he is the fulfillment of Isaiah 61. In anticipation, I've prepared a Bible study and some discussion questions that you can use with your small group or family before watching Episode 3 [You can also find my recap, review, and analysis of Episode 3 here]. I hope you'll enjoy!
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Before Watching The Chosen Season 3 Episode 3: Review Questions
Episode 1 and Episode 2 of The Chosen Season 3 were packed with content. Even if everyone in your discussion has watched the recent episodes, it makes sense to review what's happened so far in Season 3. You can ask your group some of the following questions:
In Episode 2 of The Chosen Season 3, what was the mission that Jesus gave to his disciples?
What instructions and warnings did Jesus give his disciples before sending them out?
Which disciples got paired up with one another? Which of these pairs are you most interested in following?
In Episode 2 of The Chosen Season 3, Little James asks why Jesus hasn't healed him yet. What was Jesus' response?
While the disciples are away, what did Jesus say he was going to be doing?
What challenges do you think he'll face on his mission?
These are all pretty basic questions, so you should be able to finish this part of your discussion in just a few minutes.
Before Watching The Chosen Season 3 Episode 3: Bible Study & Discussion Questions
Now that you've reviewed Episodes 1 & 2, it's time to turn to Scripture. I would point out to your group:
During Season 3 Episode 3 of The Chosen, we'll follow Jesus on his mission back to his hometown in Nazareth.
This episode will be based on an event described in Luke 4. The title of the episode, "Physician, Heal Thyself," is a reference to Luke 4:23.
Before watching the episode, we'll look at both Luke 4 and Isaiah 61, a prophecy of the Messiah.
To begin, ask someone to read the passage in Isaiah:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. (Isaiah 61:1-4, ESV)
You may want to provide a little context:
This prophecy comes from near the end of Isaiah.
Isaiah was a prophet who ministered during the decline of the Kingdom of Judah. He predicted how the apostasy of God's people would ultimately lead to their judgment and exile at the hands of the Babylonian Empire.
In addition to predicting God's judgment, Isaiah predicted how God would eventually have mercy on his people and bring an end to their experience of exile and judgment.
As Isaiah predicted, God's people were indeed exiled to Babylon and the Temple was destroyed. Moreover, after several decades in Babylon, they were finally returned back to their homeland when the Kingdom of Babylon fell to the Kingdom of Persia.
Even though the people had physically returned to their land, however, they still considered themselves to be experiencing a form of exile. Their kingdom had not yet been restored to its former glory, as Isaiah promised, and a son of David was not yet back on the throne. To make matters worse, they suffered oppression under a series of pagan empires including the Greeks and the Romans.
In the light of their continuing suffering and oppression, the Jews continued to anticipate the fulfillment of prophecies like this passage in Isaiah.
Now ask your group:
What changes does Isaiah say the anointed one will bring?
Who will benefit from these changes?
Before the coming of Jesus, how do you think the Israelites envisioned this prophecy's fulfillment?
In The Chosen, what elements of Isaiah's prophecy have we seen Jesus fulfill already?
What elements of Isaiah's original prophecy has Jesus not yet fulfilled?
[For a little deeper dive into the biblical theology at play in Isaiah 61, check out the Bible Project podcast episode on the Year of Jubilee and consider sharing the Bible Project video on Sabbath]
Now turn to the passage in Luke:
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph's son?” And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘“Physician, heal yourself.” What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away. (Luke 4:16-30, ESV)
After reading the passage, I would explain:
In Jesus' day, it was common for synagogues to invite traveling rabbis to teach on the Sabbath.
When Jesus read the passage from Isaiah 61, the people listening would have simply expected him to give a sermon on the meaning of Isaiah's prophecy. Instead, Jesus declared the prophecy was being fulfilled in their midst.
Now ask your group:
Imagine you were attending Jesus' synagogue and heard him declare that this prophecy was fulfilled. How do you think you would feel? What questions would you have?
Did you notice the parts of the prophecy that Jesus didn't read? Why do you think he choose to leave those parts out?
After Jesus declares that he is the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy, some of those listening question how the son of a carpenter like Joseph could really be God's anointed one. Jesus anticipates that they will want him to prove himself by performing the same miracles among them that he did elsewhere. In response, he reminds them of a couple stories in the Old Testament. What's the point he's making based on these stories?
What Jesus says makes the crowd very angry - why?
How was Jesus' understanding of God's kingdom at odds with the understanding of the Jews in his day? How did he view Gentiles (non-Jews) differently?
Can you relate at all to the Jews that were angered by Jesus? How so?
After Watching The Chosen Season 3 Episode 3: Bible Study & Discussion Questions
After watching an episode of The Chosen, I always like to ask a couple simple questions:
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 to the depiction of Jesus in Episode 3. I would point out:
Season 3 Episode 3 of The Chosen was released on Christmas Day. Although it doesn't follow the events of the Christmas story, it is deeply interested in exploring what Christmas is all about - the incarnation of the Son of God as a fully human child.
Episode 3 highlights several ways that Jesus voluntarily lowered himself to live as a human so that he could bring deliverance and salvation.
Now I would ask:
When the Son of God became human, he voluntarily took on some the limitations and weaknesses of humanity (while remaining free from sin). For example, Jesus was limited by the need to sleep just like the rest of us. What are some ways that Episode 3 highlighted the physical and mental limitations that Jesus underwent?
Because he was a human with his physical and mental limitations, Jesus depended on others to meet his needs and teach him. What are some ways that Episode 3 showed Jesus learning from and depending on others?
Would it be easier or more difficult to believe in Jesus if you had seen his limitations as a child and watched him learn and grow? Why?
Now I would share this passage from Hebrews:
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16, ESV)
Then I would ask your group:
Do you find comfort in knowing that Jesus can sympathize with human weaknesses and limitations? How so?
During Jesus' dispute in the synagogue, he tells the people that they must become brokenhearted and desperate for salvation. Why is it important for us to be aware of our own weaknesses and limitations? What happens if we're unwilling to face our own weaknesses?
If we want to be like Jesus, we need to be willing to sympathize with the weaknesses of others and voluntarily limit our own rights and power. Can you think of a person or situation where God is calling you to sympathize with the weaknesses of others?
To care for others well, how will you need to limit your own rights and power?
This episode was quite profound and covered a lot of ground theologically. Don't feel pressured to get through all these questions. If your conversation begins to dig deeper into an important theme or idea, let the Spirit lead you. For a fuller exploration of the themes and ideas in the Season 3 Episode 3, don't forget to check out my recap, review, and analysis.
The Chosen Season 3 Episode 3 FAQ
When can I watch The Chosen Season 3 Episode 3? When is the Episode 3 livestream?
Episode 3 will be aired on YouTube and The Chosen app at 7:00 PM on December 25 (Christmas). You can also watch it a day earlier if you've paid-it-forward $300 or more.
What Scriptures are referenced in The Chosen Season 3 Episode 3? What stories in the Bible is it based on?
Season 3 Episode 3 is primarily based on John 4:43-45 and Luke 4:16-30, which means it also references Isaiah 61, 1 Kings 17:8-16, and 2 Kings 5. When Jesus is sentenced to death for false prophecy, it is in reference to Deuteronomy 13. The episode will also include Lazarus and presumably his sisters, Mary and Martha, who are mentioned in Luke 10:38-42 and John 11.
Who was Lazarus in the Bible? Who are Mary and Martha in the Bible?
The Bible suggests that Jesus had special affection for Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha (John 11:5) and would stay with them when passing through their village (Luke 10:38-42). Toward the end of Jesus' ministry, Lazarus died as a result of illness, but he was ultimately resurrected (John 11).
Who was Jesus' childhood friend in the Bible? Was Lazarus a childhood friend of Jesus in the Bible?
In The Chosen, during Season 3 Episode 3, we are told that Jesus and Lazarus grew up together in Nazareth and were friends before Lazarus moved to Bethany and became a successful businessman. The Bible makes it clear that Lazarus was Jesus' good friend (John 11) but it does not say whether they grew up together. The Chosen is engaging in creative speculation about the origin of their friendship. We are told very little about Jesus' childhood and don't know who his friends were growing up.
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.
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