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The Chosen Season 4 Episode 7 Bible Study & Discussion Guide (Exploring The Chosen with Small Group & Youth)

The significance of the resurrection of Lazarus is underappreciated among modern Christians. It’s not just an impressive display of Jesus’ power. If the Gospel of John is to be believed, the decision to raise Lazarus from the dead ultimately resulted in Jesus’ own death. Episode 7 of The Chosen Season 4 depicts this key moment wonderfully, highlighting its biblical significance. If you’re studying The Chosen with your small group, youth ministry, or Bible study, there’s a lot for you to explore. 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 also find my recap, review, and analysis of the episode here, further thoughts on my podcast here, and an interview with Catherine Lidstone (Mary of Bethany) here.


The disciples remove the stone blocking Lazarus' tomb
The disciples remove the stone blocking Lazarus' tomb in The Chosen Season 4 Episode 7

Before Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 7: Review Questions

As usual, I’d encourage you to do a quick review before launching into your discussion of Episode 7:

  • Last episode, when Jesus received news that Lazarus was sick, what did he do? Later, when news came that Lazarus had died, how did the disciples respond?

  • At the very beginning of Season 1, what was Mary Magdalene struggling with? How did her life change after she met Jesus?

  • Earlier this season, why did Jesus not heal Ramah? How has Thomas been dealing with what happened?


Before Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 7: Bible Study & Discussion Questions

The story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead is one of the most in-depth miracle stories recorded in the Gospels. Simply reading through the entire text will take time, but it’s worth doing so before you watch the episode, so your members can understand how The Chosen is adapting (and transforming) the narrative.


Begin your discussion by reading the passage:

[1] Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. [2] It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. [3] So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” [4] But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
[5] Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. [6] So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. [7] Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” [8] The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” [9] Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. [10] But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” [11] After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” [12] The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” [13] Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. [14] Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, [15] and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” [16] So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
[17] Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. [18] Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, [19] and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. [20] So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. [21] Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. [22] But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” [23] Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” [24] Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” [25] Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, [26] and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” [27] She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
[28] When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” [29] And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. [30] Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. [31] When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. [32] Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” [33] When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. [34] And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” [35] Jesus wept. [36] So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” [37] But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”
[38] Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. [39] Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” [40] Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” [41] So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. [42] I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” [43] When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” [44] The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” (John 11:1–44, ESV)

After reading, point out:

  • As in The Chosen, in the Gospel of John, the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead comes after a story in which Jesus is almost stoned by some of the religious leaders in Jerusalem. In John, Jesus briefly leaves the region of Judea to escape being stoned.

  • Some commentators argue that the word commonly translated “Jews” is better understood to mean “Judean,”  that is, a person living in Judea (as opposed to living in Galilee or other territories). This is why John seems to distinguish Jesus, his disciples, and the people where he’s staying from the “Jews,” even though they were all religiously and ethnically Jewish. Culturally, the Judeans had higher status than Galileans because they lived in or nearer to Jerusalem.


Now discuss the following questions:

  • The story of Mary anointing Jesus and wiping his feet doesn’t come until the next chapter (John 12). Why do you think John mentions it at the beginning of this story?

  • After learning of Lazarus’ sickness, Jesus says, “This illness does not lead to death” and waits around for two days - and then Lazarus does die. If you were a disciple, what would you be thinking and feeling?

  • What does it mean that the illness “is for the glory of God, so that the Son of Man may be glorified through it”?

  • What is Jesus sacrificing in order to bring Lazarus back to life? How is this story a concrete picture of the Gospel?

  • When Martha approaches Jesus, he assures her that her brother will rise. She thinks he means that Lazarus will rise again at the end of time, but Jesus says, "I am the resurrection and the life.” What does he mean?

  • Next, Mary approaches Jesus and says almost exactly the same thing to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” How is Jesus’ response to her different from his response to Martha? Why do you think that is?

  • Why do you think Jesus weeps? What does this show about who he is?

  • Why is this specific miracle so important? What does it reveal about Jesus and about God? What would it have meant to the disciples and others who witnessed it?


The disciples remove the stone blocking Lazarus' tomb
Judas and Nathanael on the road in The Chosen Season 4 Episode 7

After Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 7: 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 ask the following questions:

  • At the beginning and end of the episode, we get scenes that flash-forward to decades later, when Mary Magdalene is older and reflecting on the event. Why do you think the show frames the story this way?

  • What insights does Mary’s poem at the end of the episode give us into the meaning of the event?

  • As they journey toward Bethany, what are some of the different ways that the disciples make sense of Lazarus’ death? What makes this moment hard? What gives them encouragement and hope?

  • What did you make of the scene where Jesus weeps? What is Jesus weeping for, according to the show?

  • Why do you think the crowd responded the way it did to Lazarus’ appearance? 

  • What did you make of Thomas’ response to the raising of Lazarus? Could you sympathize with him?

  • What did you think about the way Jesus and the other disciples responded to Thomas? Why do you think Jesus didn’t spend more time talking to him?

  • How does Judas respond to Lazarus’ resurrection? What does he fail to understand?


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


Comments


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