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

Updated: Mar 21

Episode 4 of The Chosen Season 4 contains two important biblical scenes: the healing of the centurion’s son (Matthew 8:5-13) and Jesus’ teaching on servant leadership (Mark 10:35-45). If you’re studying The Chosen with your small group, youth ministry, or Bible study, you’re definitely going to want to dig into both of these passages. The discussion guide and questions below are designed to help you and your community unpack both the original biblical source material and the depiction of these scenes in The Chosen Season 4.


By the way, you can also find my recap, review, and analysis of the episode here and further thoughts on the episode in a recent podcast here.


Gaius talks to Jesus in The Chosen Season 4 Episode 4
Gaius talks to Jesus in The Chosen Season 4 Episode 4

Before Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 4: Review Questions

As usual, I’d encourage you to do a quick review before launching into your discussion of Episode 4:

  • In Episode 2 of Season 4, Jesus seemed to elevate Simon by giving him a new name, Peter. How have Big James, John, and their mother, Salome, responded?

  • Over the course of the past few seasons, what have we learned about Gaius’ family life and personal struggles? How have we seen him change and grow in response to his friendship with Matthew and with Simon Peter?

  • What happened at the end of last episode? What impact do you expect it will have on Thomas? Quintus? Gaius?


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

By this point in the show, the members of your group - even those with limited biblical knowledge - have probably guessed where the story of Gaius is heading and what comes from the story of James and John shouldn’t be a surprise either. Unlike the events of Episode 3, I wouldn’t be too worried about “spoiling” what lies ahead in Episode 4.


To begin your discussion, I would focus on Jesus’ teaching on servant leadership

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:35-45, ESV)

After reading, discuss the following questions:

  • Let’s try to put ourselves in the shoes of James and John and be as sympathetic as possible. What are they after? What are some potential motives (good and bad) that may be influencing them?

  • None of us has ever been in this exact situation, but can you think of a time when you’ve asked God for greater influence or status (e.g. to get into a good school, to get a new job/promotion, etc.)? What were some of the things motivating you?

  • What does Jesus mean when he questions whether they are able to drink the cup that he will drink and be baptized with the same baptism? What does he want them to recognize? Do they?

  • We often underestimate the cost of greater power, influence, or status. Can you think of an example from your own life or from someone else’s of how greater influence came at the cost of greater hardship?

  • Now let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the other disciples. Why are they mad at James and John? What are they afraid of?

  • What’s the difference between how pagan Gentiles view power and authority and how Jesus wants his followers to view power and authority?

  • What are some modern examples that come to mind when you think of “lording over” others? Can you think of a time when you’ve had this attitude?

  • What are some modern examples of people who received power and influence by being servants? Can you think of a time when your service to others has led to greater influence?

  • How did Jesus embody servant leadership?


Jesus and the disciples in The Chosen Season 4 Episode 4
Jesus and the disciples in The Chosen Season 4 Episode 4

After Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 4: 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 4 brought together two stories about authority: the story of James and John asking Jesus to give them places of authority in his kingdom, which we’ve already discussed, and the story of Gaius asking Jesus to use his authority to heal his son, which is based on Matthew 8:5-13 and John 4:46-54.

  • The two stories are told together in order to draw out a number of interesting parallels and contrasts.


Now ask:

  • Throughout the show up until this point, what has been Quintus’ attitude toward power, status, and authority? How about Gaius? 

  • At the beginning of the episode, Quintus is demoted from his high position, while Gaius is promoted from his relatively low position. What is this reversal meant to show us about the nature of power, status, authority?

  • How do we see Gaius using the power, status, and authority of his new position? How does he embody the principles of servant leadership we discussed earlier?

  • Even though Gaius has great power and status with Rome, among the disciples he considers himself an unworthy outsider. Why?

  • Today, do you think there may be people who are relatively powerful or important in the eyes of the world but who feel like outsiders unworthy of the help of Jesus or the church? What can we learn from how Matthew and Peter have gradually helped Gaius on his faith journey?

  • When Gaius finally asks Jesus for his help, why is Jesus surprised? What does this moment reveal about Gaius and about Jesus?

  • How do the power and status of Gaius compare with that of James and John? How does the Gaius’ attitude toward power compare with that of James and John?

  • When James and John ask Jesus for more power and authority, why is Jesus surprised? What does this moment reveal about James and John and about Jesus?

  • At the end of the episode, Gaius finds Jesus and hugs him. Why do you think this was so comforting for Jesus?


These questions will probably suffice for most groups. However, if you have additional time or want more content, you might want to read the two biblical stories that The Chosen is drawing on, compare and contrast them, and identify how the show is drawing elements from both sources:

So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee. (John 4:46-54, ESV)
When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment. (Matthew 8:5-13, ESV)

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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