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The Chosen Season 4 Episode 2 Bible Study & Discussion Guide (Exploring The Chosen with Small Groups & Youth)

Updated: Feb 27

How should Christian communities deal with conflict and past grievances? This is one of the central questions driving Episode 2 of The Chosen Season 4, as Matthew struggles to make sense of Jesus’ decision to elevate Simon and rename him Peter. Below I'll share a Bible Study and discussion questions that you can use to explore Season 4, Episode 2 with your community. You can find my recap, review, and analysis of the episode here.


Jesus talks to Matthew in Episode 2 of The Chosen Season 4
Jesus talks to Matthew in Episode 2 of The Chosen Season 4

Before Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 2: Review Questions

Much of The Chosen Season 4 Episode 2 is a response to the death of John the Baptist in Episode 1. I would not encourage people to jump into the study unless they have already watched Episode 1 and all of the preceding seasons. While they may be able to follow the basic flow of events, they'll miss out on the emotional significance of these events and how they fit into the character arcs that have been playing out over the course of the show. Even if you're watching with people who are up to date, I’d encourage you to do some review.


To review, I'd suggest asking the following questions?

  • What happened at the end of Episode 1? How do you think the different characters are processing the event?

  • Episode 1 also gave us an update on Thomas and Ramah. What’s going on in their relationship and what’s their plan moving forward?

  • Last season, Zebedee sold his boat in order to begin a business that could support Jesus’ ministry. What was the state of his business at the end of Season 3?

  • Last season also put a spotlight on Rabbi Yussif and his administrator, Jairus. What have we learned about these two characters so far?

  • Season 1 of The Chosen established that Simon and Matthew knew each other before they became disciples. What’s their history and how has it affected their relationship over the past few seasons?


Before Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 2: Bible Study & Discussion Questions

Even though the big biblical event of Episode 2 is the renaming of Simon as Peter, thematically the episode seems much more interested in the relational fallout of the event than in the substance of the interaction itself. This isn’t particularly surprising, since (in the chronology of the show), among the disciples there hasn’t ever really been serious doubt about Jesus’ identity. Also, we’ll get much more on what it means for the church to storm the Gates of Hell as the season goes along and death becomes a more pressing topic.


In light of all of this, instead of beginning with a study of the famous, “Who do you say that I am?” passage (Matthew 16:13-20), I’m instead going to start with Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness and reconciliation, which is more thematically significant.


To begin your study, note that episode 2 will feature a major conflict between two of Jesus’ disciples. Explain that you’ll be exploring Jesus’ most famous and detailed discussion of how to work through conflict and pursue forgiveness and reconciliation. Then read the following passage:

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matthew 18:15-35, ESV)

After reading, discuss the following questions:

  • Sometimes young Christians are surprised to discover how much conflict goes on within the church. Why?

  • Jesus lays out a pretty clear process for dealing with conflict. What are the different steps that he suggests and why is each important?

  • Instead of following Jesus’ process for pursuing peace, Christians often sweep their conflicts under the rug and try to avoid difficult conversations. What are some of the problems with this approach?

  • Have you seen conflict-avoidance play out in the church? What happened?

  • There’s another way that modern people often deal with conflict that’s often referred to as “cancel culture.” In cancel culture, when someone has a conflict with another person, he/she will make the conflict public (usually through social media) and try to convince other people to “cancel” or dissociate from the other person. What are some of the problems with this approach?

  • Have you seen cancel culture play out in the church or among Christians online? What happened?

  • Do you think there are ever situations in which it is acceptable to skip some steps in Jesus’ process? Why or why not?

  • When Peter asks Jesus if he should forgive his brother seven times, he thinks he’s being rather charitable. Jesus’ response isn’t a literal cap on how many times we should forgive - it’s basically a Jewish way of saying “as much as needed.” What makes this teaching so challenging - and important?

  • Consider a recent conflict you’ve had in the light of Jesus’ parable of the unforgiving servant. How does the parable invite us to think about our own conflicts and personal grievances?


Simon Peter in The Chosen
Simon Peter in The Chosen

After Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 2: Bible Study & Discussion Questions

After watching an episode of The Chosen, I typically ask people a couple basic questions:

  • What stuck out to you about the episode? What did you connect with the most?

  • Did you have any questions? Was anything unclear?


As always, if the conversation takes on a life of its own, I encourage you to run with it instead of feeling bound by the questions that follow. However, if you need more structure, you can point out:

  • Episode 2 of Season 4 depicts a major biblical moment - when Simon professes his faith that Jesus is the Christ and Jesus responds by naming him Peter (rock) and declaring that he will build his church on this rock.

  • When we talk about this passage in church, we usually focus on the truth that Simon Peter is confessing and on Jesus’ intent to build his church. But Episode 2 focuses more on how the other disciples would have made sense of the event.

  • Although the Gospels don’t tell how the other disciples responded to the renaming of Simon, they do draw attention to how the disciples fought amongst themselves over who would be the greatest - and these fights are almost always recorded after the renaming of Simon.

Now ask:

  • Several disciples - especially Big James and John - respond to the renaming of Simon with envy. Can you think of a moment - especially in the context of church - when you’ve felt envious of how Jesus blessed someone else? 

  • What false beliefs about Jesus and ourselves lie at the root of such feelings?

  • Matthew also has a negative response to the renaming of Simon - not due to envy but rather due to the bitterness he still holds over how Simon treated him. Can you think of a moment - again, especially in the context of church - when you’ve felt bitter about how Jesus blessed someone who hurt you?

  • What did you make of Jesus’ response to Matthew? How does it connect back to some of the principles that we discussed earlier - as well as Jesus’ other teachings about anger, conflict, and forgiveness?

  • When Matthew attempts to apologize, Simon Peter initially refuses to listen. Have you ever attempted to make a sincere apology and been rejected? How did you feel?

  • Imagine being in Simon Peter’s shoes. Why is it so hard for him to accept Matthew’s apology? What do you think ultimately changes his mind?

  • Although Jesus calls us to forgive others as we have been forgiven, sometimes forgiveness takes time. Why is it important to not pressure people into offering forgiveness immediately?

  • Outside of Christianity and Judaism, humility was not considered a virtue for leaders in the pagan world. How does the complicated conflict in Episode 2 draw attention to the importance of humility, especially among leaders? How could the events of the episode have gone much worse if both Simon Peter and Matthew lacked humility?

  • How can we cultivate personal humility, especially when we find ourselves in conflict with others?


Hope these questions are helpful for you! I'll be producing guides like this for each episode of The Chosen Season 4, just like I have for Seasons 1-3. 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 reading and may God bless your study and conversations!

 

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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 1-4, blogs exploring how The Chosen adapts key biblical figures, and articles exploring the controversial nature of adaptation. I hope you enjoy them!


The Chosen Season 4


The Chosen Season 3


Adapting Biblical Characters Series


Artist Interviews (The Bible Artist Podcast)


Exploring The Chosen with Youth or Small Group [Discussion Guides]

Season 4

Season 3

Season 2

Season 1

Specials


The Chosen Controversies Series


How to Discuss The Chosen - and Why


Themes & Theology of The Chosen [Exclusive for BMC Members]

Season 4


Season 1

Specials


Mailbag Q&R


The Chosen Thematic Viewing Guides


Beyond The Chosen


Other Bible Adaptations

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