top of page

The Chosen Season 4 Episode 5 Bible Study & Discussion Guide (Exploring The Chosen with Small Groups and Youth)

Updated: 10 hours ago

To follow Jesus, we often have to sacrifice our natural desire for practicality. Episode 5 of The Chosen Season 4 highlights this struggle, first through a concrete embodiment of one of Jesus’ most under-appreciated teachings (Matthew 5:38-42) and then through the famous story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). If you’re studying The Chosen with your small group, youth ministry, or Bible study, there’s a lot that you’ll want to unpack.The discussion guide and questions below are designed to help you and your community dig into the original biblical source material and the depiction of these biblical texts in The Chosen Season 4.


By the way, you can find my recap, review, and analysis of the episode here and further thoughts on the episode in a podcast here . Plus, I have an interview with Catherine Lidstone, the actress who played Mary, here.


Jesus talks to Martha in The Chosen Season 4 Episode 5
Jesus talks to Martha in The Chosen Season 4 Episode 5

Before Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 5: Review Questions

As usual, I’d encourage you to do a quick review before launching into your discussion of Episode 5:

  • Throughout Season 4, we’ve seen a growing gap between Jesus and his disciples. What are some examples of how they don’t see eye to eye?

  • When we were first introduced to the character of Judas, back in Episode 8 of Season 2 and Episode 1 of Season 3, he was a partner of a man named Hadad. What have we learned about Hadad and his relationship with Judas?

  • Earlier in Season 4, what were some of the frustrations that Judas expressed to Simon Z about the current state of affairs?

  • In Episode 3 of Season 3, we were introduced to Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. In The Chosen, what have we been told about this family and their relationship to Jesus?


Before Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 5: Bible Study & Discussion Questions

As I noted in my introduction, Episode 5 forces us to confront the seemingly impractical nature of some of Jesus’ teachings. As you discuss the biblical passages that inspired the episode, participants may resist the natural meaning of what Jesus is saying because of the uncomfortable implications. You should challenge them to avoid domesticating Jesus’ words while being honest about how hard it sometimes is to trust that Jesus’ way is best.


Begin your discussion by reading the following passage:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. (Matthew 5:38-42, ESV)

After reading, point out:

  • This is part of a segment in the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus is either applying the Law of Moses or correcting a Jewish misinterpretation of the Law. 

  • When Jesus quotes directly from the Law, his goal is to identify an underlying principle and to then exhort his followers to follow that principle at a deeper level. For example, Jesus will quote the command forbidding murder and will then exhort his followers to follow this principle even more deeply by resisting anger and dehumanization. 

  • When Jesus references a Jewish misinterpretation of the Law, his goal is to correct the error and show a better way to follow the true spirit of the Law.

  • This passage begins with a reference to a popular misinterpretation of the Law of Moses. In the original context of the Law of Moses, the phrase “an eye for an eye” was meant to guide judges as they assigned punishments in legal cases. It was meant to guard against imposing excessively harsh punishments on the poor and marginalized (e.g. a life for an eye) and excessively lenient punishments on the wealthy and powerful (e.g. a coin for an eye).

  • Over time, however, individuals began to use this phrase as a justification for engaging in acts of retaliation and vengeance. This is what Jesus is trying to correct.


Now discuss the following questions:

  • This may be one of the most challenging teachings of Jesus. Taken at face value, are there parts of this teaching that feel impractical, unnatural, or risky?

  • Christians sometimes claim that this teaching doesn’t apply to today because we are living in a culture that often seems hostile to the faith. Do you think our culture is more hostile to the faith than that of Jesus? And does it matter?

  • We live in a time of intense political and cultural polarization. What does it look like to apply this teaching to how we engage with people from other political and cultural tribes? What keeps us from doing so?

  • Can you think of examples of leaders who have applied this teaching, even when it was impractical or risky?

  • This teaching also applies to how we deal with conflict in our homes, schools, churches, and workplaces. What are some recent conflicts that you’ve encountered in these areas of life?

  • What keeps you from following Jesus’ teaching in these conflicts? What do you fear will happen if you do?

  • How can we deal with these fears and anxieties? What truths and promises can we hold onto?


The disciples carry the armor of Roman soldiers in The Chosen Season 4 Episode 5
The disciples carry the armor of Roman soldiers in The Chosen Season 4 Episode 5

After Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 5: 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:

  • In Episode 5, there were at least two situations in which characters were forced to choose between being devoted to Jesus’ teaching and being worried about practical matters

  • Let’s begin by considering the scenes in which Jesus and the disciples put the teaching we discussed earlier into practice. 


Now ask:

  • Did watching these scenes give you additional insight into the significance of Jesus’ teaching? 

  • Imagine being in the shoes of the disciples. What would you have found most difficult about the experience?

  • What effect did the actions of Jesus and his followers have on the soldiers? If we follow Jesus’ teaching and people don’t respond this way, does it mean Jesus’ teaching has failed?

  • Why was this moment so difficult for Judas? How did it rub up against his values and concerns?

  • Compare Judas with Martha. How are their values and concerns similar?

  • Now compare Martha and Mary. How are their values and concerns similar? How are they different?

  • What did you make of Jesus’ response to Martha? What was his point?


Now take a look at the actual passage:

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42, ESV)

After reading the passage, discuss the following questions:

  • Compare Jesus’ response to Martha in the passage with his response in The Chosen. Why do you think the show expanded on Jesus’ words in the way that it did?

  • Why is Jesus’ response to Martha (especially in its original biblical form) challenging for many people to accept?

  • Is there a connection between how people react to this passage and how people react to Jesus’ teaching on retaliation? What makes these passages challenging?

  • Speaking more generally, what should we do when we come across a teaching in the Gospels that’s challenging? 

  • Near the end of Episode 5, Jesus talks to his mother, Mary, about the gap between him and his disciples. How do you think Jesus looks at us when we struggle to accept or follow his way? Will he reject us because we doubt or struggle with his teaching?


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!


 

Supporting The Bible Artist

Have my resources helped you explore the Bible and biblical adaptations, either on your own or with your ministry, church, or family? I offer most* of my work for free and rely on the generous support of readers like you. Your contributions mean so much. Thank you!



*Members who contribute $5/monthly or $50/annually receive access to exclusive content, including monthly blogs and pdf versions of my Bible study/discussion guides, as well as free gifts and other perks.

 

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



Comments