Updated: Nov 22
Season 3 of The Chosen has finished filming and will begin airing in November. You might not have time to (re)watch all of The Chosen before Season 3 airs, but if you still want to refresh/catch up on what's happened in the show so far, I've picked out seven key episodes that will help prepare you for the new season.
Please note: I've selected the episodes on this list for the sake of narrative significance, not necessarily because they're my favorite episodes of The Chosen. Indeed, I've left out two of my favorite episodes - Episode 3 of Season 1 (the kid episode) and Episodes 3 of Season 2 (the day in the life of the disciples episode). As much as I enjoy bottle episodes like these, they contribute relatively little to larger narrative and conflicts that we will likely see in The Chosen Season 3.
Indescribable Compassion (The Chosen Season 1 Episode 6)
Episode 6 of The Chosen Season 1 brings us the first direct confrontation between Jesus and Shmuel, Jesus' primary antagonist among the Pharisees. Their confrontation takes places in the context of the healing of the paralytic, who is famously lowered down to Jesus through the roof of a house by his faithful friends (one of these friends is Tamar, who goes on to become a more significant figure in Season 2, where we see her engaging in street preaching, sharing her testimony about Jesus). The conflict between Jesus and Shmuel follows the biblical narrative. When the paralytic is brought to Jesus, Jesus initially responds by proclaiming that his sins are forgiven. Jesus then reads Shmuel's thoughts and in response to the claim that he's blaspheming, he goes on to demonstrate his authority by healing the man. Shmuel, in response to this humiliation, forms a deep-seated grudge against Jesus.
Invitations (The Chosen Season 1 Episode 7)
Season 1 of The Chosen has a pretty clear narrative trajectory. In the first couple episodes, we're introduced to all the major characters and their issues, and over the course of the rest of the season we see those characters encounter Jesus and decide how to respond to the invitation to follow him. Episode 7 focuses on how the invitation to follow Jesus is received by the two most skeptical characters, Matthew and Nicodemus. I'm not sure if Nicodemus will return in Season 3, but in case he does the Born Again conversation in this episode is a key moment that's worth revisiting. This episode also gives us insight into Matthew's strained relationship with his family and lets us see Matthew part ways with Gaius, his Roman handler/friend - two other subplots that The Chosen Season 3 will likely revisit.
I Am He (The Chosen Season 1 Episode 8)
Episode 8 of The Chosen Season 1 wraps up a handful of key subplots that Season 3 will most likely revisit. We get a glimpse into Simon (Peter)'s family life with his wife, Eden, and his mother-in-law, Dasha, and we learn how they feel about his decision to follow Jesus. We see Nicodemus continue to struggle with and ultimately turn away from the invitation to follow Jesus. We see a little more development in the relationship between Matthew and his family. We see Shmuel set off to Jerusalem in order to figure out how to charge Jesus as a false prophet. And we see Jesus acknowledge his Messianic identity for the first time in his conversation with the Samaritan woman, Photina. Assuming that the disciples return to Capernaum (**spoiler** previews of The Chosen Season 3 suggest they do), it'll be helpful to be reminded of where several of these Capernaum-based characters were left when the disciples headed off on their first journey at the end of Season 1.
The Perfect Opportunity (The Chosen Season 2 Episode 4)
The first few episodes of Season 2 of The Chosen are more or less self-contained. Episode 4 sets in motion a number of subplots that play out over the course of the remainder of the season. We're introduced to two significant new characters: Atticus Aemilius, a Roman investigator tasked with hunting down violent Jewish insurgents, and Simon the Zealot, one of those insurgents, who ultimately fails to carry out an assassination against a Roman leader. When Simon, who is being tracked by Atticus, goes on to join the disciples of Jesus in the latter half of Season 2, he unknowingly brings Jesus under greater scrutiny from the Roman authorities - a plot thread that Season 3 of The Chosen will almost certainly continue. This episode also reintroduces us to Shmuel and reinvigorates his opposition to Jesus. When Jesus heals Jesse, the paralytic by the Pool of Bethesda, he instructs him to take up his mat and walk. Shmuel construes this as a violation of the Sabbath and uses it as grounds for accusing Jesus of being a false prophet in the later half of Season 2. Shmuel's opposition to Jesus is not resolved by the end of Season 2, so we can expect his investigation to continue as we head into The Chosen Season 3.
Spirit (The Chosen Season 2 Episode 5)
In addition to developing the Atticus/Simon and Shmuel plots from Episode 4, Episode 5 introduces two more subplots that play a significant role in Season 2 of The Chosen. After departing from Jerusalem, Jesus goes in search of his cousin, John the Baptist. We learn that John intends to denounce Herod the Tetrach for marrying his brother's wife, an act of defiance that Bible readers know will ultimately lead to John's execution (an event that we can expect to see in The Chosen Season 3). Meanwhile, Mary Magdalene encounters another demon, Belial, as well as a Roman soldier. These experiences trigger her past trauma as a survivor of spiritual and sexual assault and cause her to flee back her old life and fall back into drinking, her former coping mechanism. Although Mary goes on to find a degree of healing in Episode 6, I suspect that her past will continue to play an important role in The Chosen Season 3.
Unlawful (The Chosen Season 2 Episode 6)
I'll be honest, Episode 6 wasn't my favorite episode of The Chosen, but Episodes 5 & 6 are tied together very closely, and so it'll be hard to watch one without the other. The first half of Episode 6 concludes the Mary Magdalene plot from Episode 5, while the second half introduces another healing-on-the-Sabbath incident that advances Shmuel's plot. We also get informed of John the Baptist's arrest by Herod. Episode 6 has some really great moments (Matthew and Simon Peter as buddy cops; Jesus forgiving Mary), but unfortunately these moments aren't given enough breathing room because of all the superfluous subplots that have been stuffed into the episode as well.
Beyond Mountains (The Chosen Season 2 Episode 8)
The finale of The Chosen Season 2 is obviously the most important episode to watch in preparation for The Chosen Season 3. Jesus and Matthew spend much of this episode finalizing the Sermon on the Mount, but the episode ends just before Jesus begins preaching. While we probably won't get a half hour Sermon on the Mount sequence in Episode 1 of Season 3, I expect that we will be given either a montage or perhaps the closing of the sermon (the house built on sand and the house built on rock parable). Episode 8 also showcased the disciples taking a more active role in ministry, which is a trend that will likely continue in Season 3. And, of course, this episode introduces us to Judas and gives us some important context for understanding his motivations and aspirations, all of which will play an important role in The Chosen Season 3.
Any other episodes that you think are important to rewatch in anticipation for The Chosen Season 3? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!
Want to revisit Season 2 of The Chosen in greater depth? Jerry B. Jenkins (creator of the Left Behind series and father of Dallas Jenkins) has adapted The Chosen Season 2 into a novel, allowing readers to delve more fully into the thoughts and motivations of the key characters.
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Contributing to The Bible Artist
Have my posts about Bible adaptation helped you learn more about the Bible and explore it with your ministry or family? I offer my work for free and rely on the generous support of readers like you. Your contributions mean so much. Thank you!
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
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
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