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The Chosen Season 4 Episode 8 Bible Study & Discussion Guide (Exploring The Chosen with Small Groups & Youth)

Why did Jesus die? Most Christians know the theological reason: the Father sent his Son to die on behalf of the sins of his people. But what motivated the human agents who handed Jesus over to death? Episode 8 of The Chosen Season 4 explores the Sanhedrin's plot to kill Jesus (Matthew 26:6-13, John 11:45-57) and Judas' motivation for betraying Jesus (John 12:1-8). It also includes an important teaching about what it means to serve Jesus (Matthew 25:31-46) and the set up for Jesus’ triumphal entry on Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:1-7). If you’re studying The Chosen with your small group, youth ministry, or Bible study, there’s a lot for you to dig into. The discussion guide and questions below are designed to help you and your community explore some of the original biblical source material and the depiction of these moments 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.

Jesus sets his face toward Jerusalem with his mother, Mary, at his side in The Chosen Season 4 Episode 8
Jesus sets his face toward Jerusalem with his mother, Mary, at his side in The Chosen Season 4 Episode 8

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Before Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 8: Review Questions

As usual, I’d encourage you to do a quick review before launching into your discussion of Episode 8:

  • In Season 2, how did Jesus help Simon Z’s brother, Jesse? In Season 3, how did Jesus help Veronica, the woman with chronic bleeding?

  • At the beginning of Season 4, what did we learn about Joanna’s relationship with her husband, Chuza?

  • In Episode 7 of Season 4, how did Judas react to the raising of Lazarus? What is he hoping for?

  • In Episode 7, how did Mary and Martha respond to the raising of Lazarus? 

Before Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 8: Bible Study & Discussion Questions

The raising of Lazarus led to two diametrically-opposed responses. To those who were open-minded, this climactic miracle served as a final confirmation of Jesus’ power and authority. But to those who were in power, the fame that Jesus gained felt threatening. We’ll be exploring both reactions to the miracle.

Begin your discu​​ssion by explaining:

  • Last episode, we saw Jesus raise his friend, Lazarus, from the dead. We’ll see the aftermath of this important miracle in Episode 8. But before we watch, let’s explore how this moment is depicted in Scripture.

Now read the following passages:

​​45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. (John 11:45-53, ESV)


​​Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” (John 12:1-8, ESV)

After reading, discuss the following questions:

  • Why do the elite religious leaders respond to the news about Lazarus the way that they do? What does their response reveal about what they trust in?

  • If the religious leaders were trusting fully in God for their security, how would they have responded differently?

  • Today, are there situations when we as Christians are tempted to sacrifice others to maintain our security, power, and comfort?

  • When Caiaphas says one man should die for all the people, what does he mean? In what sense does he mean Jesus should die for his people?

  • John suggests there’s an ironic, unintended meaning to Caiaphas’ words. What does John mean when he says that Caiaphas was prophesying about Jesus dying not only for his nation but for all the children of God scattered abroad?

  • What does this moment show us about the relationship between human plans and God’s divine plan?

  • How does the response of Mary compare to that of the religious leaders?

  • Three hundred denarii - the cost of the perfume that Mary used - is equivalent to about a year’s worth of wages for an average person at the time. Would you be tempted to see Mary’s act as wasteful?

  • According to Jesus, why was Mary’s act appropriate and beautiful? What was the significance of what Mary did?

  • In what situations do you find yourself judging how other people show their gratitude and love for Jesus? 

  • Are there moments when you’ve been moved by the lavish worship of others?

Shmuel in The Chosen Season 4
Shmuel in The Chosen Season 4

After Watching The Chosen Season 4 Episode 8: 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:

  • How did the depiction of the Sanhedrin’s plot to kill Jesus compare to the passage that we read? Why do you think the show introduced the changes that it did?

  • How did the depiction of Mary’s act of worship and gratitude compare to the passage we read? Why do you think the show introduced the changes that it did?

  • Were there additional insights that you gained into the meaning of Mary’s act based on the opening scene?

  • Going into this scene, what is Shmuel’s attitude? 

  • How is Shmuel offended by Jesus’ words and actions?

  • Why did Jesus not take a softer approach to Shmuel? Would doing so have been more loving? Why or why not?

Now take a look at the teaching that Jesus initially offers in response to Shmuel:

31  “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46, ESV)

After reading the passage, ask:

  • Many ancient people identified the gods with their kings, priests, and religious teachers. Disrespecting a leader was the same as disrespecting God. How does Jesus challenge and transform this common attitude?

  • Why was this teaching so challenging for Shmuel? To accept Jesus’ words, how would he have needed to change his worldview?

  • Today, if Jesus was going to list some of the “least of these my brothers” that he identifies with, who do you think he might mention?

  • Is it tempting for you to identify God with people who have more authority, status, wealth, and knowledge? Why or why not?

  • Are there specific people or situations in which you feel called to serve as a way of worshipping Jesus? What, if anything, is holding you back?

  • Is Jesus teaching salvation by works? How does this teaching fit with other Christian teachings about faith, forgiveness, and grace?

Hope these questions are helpful for you! I’ve now finished all of my guides for The Chosen Season 4. 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!


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


The Chosen Controversies Series

How to Discuss The Chosen - and Why

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

Season 4

Season 1

Season 2


Mailbag Q&R

The Chosen Thematic Viewing Guides

Beyond The Chosen

Other Bible Adaptations


Excelente material para discussão em pequenos grupos. Continuem com esta atividade abençoadora!

Kevin Keating
Kevin Keating
5 days ago
Replying to


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