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The Chosen Season 4 Official Trailer: Key Insights

Updated: Jun 1

The official trailer for The Chosen Season 4 was released to the public on Monday, December 18. With the in-theater release of Season 4 approaching in February, we’re beginning to get a clearer picture of what lies ahead for Jesus and his disciples (Hint: it’s darkness; lots and lots of darkness). Let’s take a few minutes to observe what the official trailer tells us about the upcoming season.


The Chosen Season 4 Poster featuring Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Matthew, Shmuel, Judas, Simon, Ramah, Tamar, Lazarus, Gaius, and Quintus
The Chosen Season 4 Poster featuring Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Matthew, Shmuel, Judas, Simon, Ramah, Tamar, Lazarus, Gaius, and Quintus

What we already knew about The Chosen Season 4

Much of what we see in the official trailer is an expansion of what we saw in the Teaser that was released back in October. To recap, we already knew that Season 4 would include:

  • The death of John the Baptist: According to the Gospels (e.g. Matthew 14:1-12), Herod Antipas married his wife Herodias after she unlawfully divorced his brother. When John the Baptist publicly opposed the marriage, Herodias urged Herod Antipas to execute him. Herod was initially reluctant to do so because of John's status as a prophet, and so Herodias had her daughter, Salome, tdance for Herod and his friends so that he would grant her a boon. When Herod offered Salome anything she wanted, Herodias instructed her to ask for John's head on a platter. Many shots in the trailer appear to be connected to this storyline: Jesus and the disciples mourning, Salome dancing before Herod and Herodias, revelry in Herod’s court, Joanna talking to a scornful old man (probably her husband), Big James getting restrained from attacking someone, and, of course, John the Baptist being led to his execution.

  • The death and resurrection of Lazarus: According to the Gospels (John 11), Jesus is summoned to heal his friend, Lazarus. By the time he arrives, however, his friend has been dead and buried in a tomb for four days. Jesus has encounters with Mary and Martha and then weeps (famously). Arriving at the tomb, Jesus calls Lazarus out, raising him from the dead. The trailer shows the stone being removed from the grave of Lazarus and Jesus calling him forth; it also shows us Jesus weeping.

  • The fall of Judas: Before Judas sells Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver, he begins stealing money from the purse of the disciples (John 12:6). We already saw this moment in the teaser, but the official trailer also gives us insight into the cause. It looks like Judas’ skeevy mentor convinces him that he can take the money as a commission.

  • Themes of Season 4: The themes that I suggested in my post on the teaser trailer (death and resurrection, grief and celebration, distance between Jesus and his disciples, choosing sides, and darkness into light) also appear to be present in the official trailer. I don’t see any other clear themes.



Additional Biblical Events Confirmed for The Chosen Season 4

In addition to the events already confirmed in the teaser, the official trailer also forecasts several more biblical events:

  • The Mary and Martha story: We already knew Mary (of Bethany) and Martha would feature in the story of Lazarus’ death and resurrection and so I assumed we would get the famous story of Mary sitting by Jesus’ feet while Martha was distracted with housework (Luke 10:38-42), but the official trailer gives us our first glimpse: Jesus, Lazarus, the disciples, and Mary (of Bethany) are sitting in a lavish room, while Martha is nowhere to be seen (0:19).

  • The Gates of Hell: We see a clip (1:11) of Jesus’ famous speech (Matthew 16:13-23), in which he gives Simon the name “Peter” (Greek for rock) and declares that he is building his church on “this rock” and that the Gates of Death/Hell will not stand against it. Some scholars believe that the “Gates of Death” is a reference to an actual location: a cave at Caesarea Phillipi/Mount Hermon that the pagans believed was an actual entrance into the underworld. That’s why Jesus appears to be giving the speech outside of a Greek/Roman temple. Preceding the speech, we’ll see Simon make his bold declaration that Jesus is the Christ; after the speech Simon immediately puts his foot in his mouth by telling Jesus that he won’t be killed.

  • The Pharisees plot to kill Jesus: According to the Gospel of John (John 11:45-57), the resurrection of Lazarus is the final straw that prompts the religious establishment in Jerusalem to plot to kill Jesus. The official trailer seems to give us this scene (0:37).

  • Palm Sunday/Jesus' Triumphal Entry (?): I wasn’t expecting Palm Sunday until Season 5, but the official trailer gives us several shots (1:23) of pilgrims in Jerusalem cutting down and carrying palm branches, which suggests that Season 4 will end with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (John 12:12-19; Matthew 21:1-11).

  • Jesus overturning the tables (?): In some accounts, Jesus’ triumphal entry culminates in him cleansing the temple and overturning the tables of the money changers (Matthew 21:12-17). I’m not 100% sure, but it looks like the official trailer shows Jesus entering the temple (2:03).

Other interesting notes on The Chosen Season 4

  • The scene where the disciples are wearing the armor of Roman soldiers has received a lot of attention. It looks like an interesting moment. Since it was invented and doesn’t appear to be based on a biblical scene, I’m not going to speculate about it.

  • In Mary Magdalene’s voice over, she claims that darkness is not the absence of light but something more. This is actually pretty controversial. Theologians gravitate toward the “darkness=evil, light=good” metaphor precisely because darkness is merely an absence of light and nothing more. While some belief systems view evil and good as two separate and equal entities, Christians have always believed that only Good has actual being in and of itself. Evil isn’t a separate type of being - it is merely a privation/absence/distortion of good, just as darkness is merely an absence of light.

  • Mary Magdalene’s voice over also references Psalm 139 (even the darkness is not dark to you).

  • Later, Mary Magdalene also refers to Jesus as a “man of sorrows” - an allusion to the famous Suffering Servant poem (Isaiah 53). The fact that Mary is speaking in the past tense about Jesus and referring to him using the language of the Suffering Servant makes me wonder if Season 4 will contain a flash-forward frame like Season 2.


Anything else that I missed? Are there elements in the trailer that got you excited? Let me know in the comments below!



 

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1 Comment


S4's trailer gives us peeks at the suffering that is about to come to the lives of the Chosen characters. Fills me with dread for them. For it is as if an ugly reality is about to break in upon something beautiful.


In sum, this season looks to be one hell of a ride!

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