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The Chosen Season 4 Episode 3: Bible Study & Discussion Guide (Exploring The Chosen with Small Groups & Youth)

Updated: Mar 21

For thousands of years, Jews and Christians have pondered why God allows faithful believers to suffer, even though he has the power to heal. This is a central question raised by Episode 3 of The Chosen Season 4. So be prepared: if you plan on studying and discussing this episode with your Bible study, community group, or youth ministry, some deep and difficult conversations lie ahead. The discussion questions below are designed to help you and your group begin to work through some of the challenging topics raised by Episode 3 of The Chosen Season 4.


Please note: I’m writing this blog post under the assumption that readers will have seen Episode 3. While the questions themselves avoid spoilers until the “After Watching” section, my explanatory comments and questions do contain spoilers. If you’re printing this post out for your group, I suggest blacking out or deleting the spoilers.


By the way, you can find my recap, review, and analysis of Episode 3 here and my discussion of the big controversy here.


Thomas and Ramah in The Chosen Season 4
Thomas and Ramah in The Chosen Season 4

Before Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 3: Review Questions

The review for this discussion can be pretty quick:

  • How have Thomas and Ramah’s plans to get married developed over the past couple episodes?

  • What happened to Simon (Peter) last episode and how are the other disciples reacting?

  • What is Quintus pressuring Gaius to do and why?


Before Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 3: Bible Study & Discussion Questions

After you watch Episode 3, your group will almost certainly want to spend time processing the death of Ramah, even though the event itself isn’t contained in Scripture. That’s why I think it’s essential to frontload your meeting with a discussion of the story of Jesus healing the man born blind as it is told in the Gospel of John:

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains. (John 9:1-41, ESV)

After reading, discuss the following questions:

  • One reason why God gives us Scripture is to help us make sense of the world around us. But Scripture is complex and applying its principles to life isn’t always easy. Can you think of a time when you misjudged a situation because of a mistaken or simplistic view of what the Bible says?

  • This story begins with Jesus’ disciples misjudging a situation based on their overly-simplistic understanding of Scripture: they assume the man's blindness must be caused by a specific sinful act. How do you make sense of the third alternative offered by Jesus?

  • How does it sit with you to think that God allowed this man to suffer for years so that Jesus could display his work? What questions does this raise for you?

  • Just as the disciples misjudged the blind man based on their overly-simplistic understanding of Scripture, how do the Pharisees misjudge Jesus based on their overly-simplistic understanding of Scripture?

  • At the end of the story, Jesus says, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” What does he mean and how is this idea illustrated by the characters in the story?

  • When the Pharisees ask if Jesus thinks they are blind, he replies, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.” What does he mean? How does this passage illustrate the danger of being overconfident in our understanding?


Jesus debating Pharisees over the healing of a man born blind in The Chosen Season 4 Episode 3
Jesus debating Pharisees over the healing of a man born blind in The Chosen Season 4 Episode 3

After Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 3: 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:

  • When a show kills off a major character, it’s normal for fans to feel a sense of loss, disappointment, or even anger and frustration. 

  • The decision of The Chosen to kill off Ramah has been especially controversial among fans of The Chosen because we know that in other moments, Jesus demonstrates the ability to raise the dead.

  • This moment is not in the Bible - Ramah is a fictional character and her death is original to The Chosen.

  • To make things even more difficult, the only explanation that Jesus (in The Chosen) offers for not healing Ramah is that “It’s not her time.”

Now ask:

  • Many of us have had a loved one die - even after we asked Jesus for healing. Could anyone resonate with what Thomas must be feeling?

  • In moments like this, what does a bereaved person like Thomas need most?

  • What does Jesus mean when he says that it’s not Ramah’s time? 

  • The Chosen is imagining a situation not described in Scripture. When faced with situations like this, why is it important to be humble in our understanding?

  • Based on your understanding of Scripture, what are some reasons why you would have expected Jesus to provide healing in a situation like this?

  • Based on your understanding of Scripture, what are some reasons why Jesus might not have provided healing in a situation like this?

  • Are there additional reasons why The Chosen allowed Ramah to die? How do you expect her death to fit into the story of the show (especially Thomas’ story)?

  • Why do you think The Chosen sometimes presents us with tricky situations not described in Scripture? Is there a spiritual value to grappling with the questions raised by scenes like this?

  • What questions are you left with?


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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