The Feeding of the 5,000 (Exploring The Chosen Season 3 Episode 8 with Youth or Small Group)
Updated: 6 days ago
Episode 8 of The Chosen Season 3 premiered in theaters on Thursday February 2, before being released online on Tuesday, February 7. In addition to depicting the Feeding of the 5,000, it also adapts many other biblical passages, including:
The Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32)
The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9)
The Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32)
The Parable of the Treasure (Matthew 13:44)
The Parable of the Pearl (Matthew 13:45-46)
The "Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden" speech (Matthew 11:25-30)
If you're looking to dig deep into the events and themes of the episode, as well as my personal appraisal of it, check out my recap, review, and analysis (warning: it includes spoilers!). But if you're planning on watching The Chosen Season 3 Finale with your small group, youth ministry, or family and you want to do a Bible study or discussion before/after watching, I've still got you covered with a Bible study focused on the key event of Episode 8, the Feeding of the 5,000. [By the way, I've now got a separate discussion guide for Episode 7 of Season 3 here.]
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Before Watching The Chosen Season 3 Episode 8: Review Questions
I would discourage you from bringing people to the The Chosen Season 3 Finale that haven't seen a majority of the preceding episodes. While they may be able to follow the basic flow of events, especially if they are familiar with the Gospels, they'll miss out on the emotional significance of these events and how they fit into the character arcs that have been playing out over the course of Season 3. Even if you're watching with people who have seen all of The Chosen Season 3, I'd suggest reviewing the previous episodes before watching in order to make sure that everyone is tracking. Here are a few questions you might want to ask your group:
How did Season 3 of The Chosen begin? What were some of the key events that got things started?
How has the Jesus movement grown and changed over the course of Season 3? How have we seen the disciples taking on new responsibilities, roles, and gifts?
Season 3 has given a lot of attention to the marriage of Simon and Eden. What's happened between the two of them over the course of the season? Where are they at going into Episode 8?
In Episode 7, what did we learn about the situation in the Decapolis? How did Andrew and Philip try to fix things? When their efforts didn't work, what did they decide to do?
What was Shmuel up to in Episode 7? What is he trying to accomplish?
Season 3 of The Chosen has been very dense, and so there's a lot to review. If you've got a group that's pretty sharp, you can probably trim out a few questions. You'll just want to make sure that everyone is tracking with the events of the season so far so that they can get as much as possible out of Episode 8.
Before Watching The Chosen Season 3 Episode 8: Bible Study & Discussion Questions
The Feeding of the 5,000 is the centerpiece of Episode 8. Other than the events of Holy Week (Jesus' betrayal, judgment, death, and resurrection) the Feeding of the 5,000 is one of the only events in the life of Jesus featured in all four Gospels. If you've ever got the time, it's worth studying and comparing the four different accounts of this miracle (Matthew 14, Mark 6:14-56, Luke 9:7-27, John 6). There's way too much to unpack in those four passages during a single Bible study, however, and so I'd suggest just choosing one passage and focusing on it. Have someone in your group read the following passage:
The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men. (Matthew 6:30-44, ESV)
After reading the passage, I would ask your group:
In the original biblical story, the Feeding of the 5,000 takes place in a desolate location in the wilderness, where it's impossible to find enough food to feed everyone. Why did the disciples go there to begin with? What are they hoping to accomplish?
Over the course of Season 3, how have we seen the disciples suffer from a lack of rest?
In your own life, have there been seasons in which you struggled to find enough time to rest, physically or spiritually? What were some of the consequences of not experiencing enough rest?
Do you ever feel guilty about saying no to opportunities for work, family, or ministry in order to get away and rest? In moments when we feel guilty about resting, what can we remind ourselves about Jesus and what he desires for us?
Although Jesus calls us to take time to rest, sometimes, like the disciples, people intrude upon our rest. Can you think of some times when other people have intruded on your rest?
When we're physically, emotionally, or spiritually exhausted, it can feel like we have nothing left to share with others. In such moments, how can we find encouragement in the miracle of the five loaves and two fish? Even though we might not necessarily see a physical miracle, how might God multiply our energy, compassion, or love?
Are there any recurring situations where you find yourself in need of supernatural strength, compassion, and love? What do you think it looks like to invite Jesus into those moments?
After finishing this conversation, your group will be ready to watch and dig into the final episode of The Chosen Season 3!
After Watching The Chosen Season 3 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 your group:
There were a few minor differences between how the Feeding of the 5,000 was depicted in The Chosen and the passage we read earlier. In the passage, why did the disciples go into a desolate region? How does that compare to what we saw in the episode? Did you notice any other differences?
Season 3 of The Chosen has focused heavily on faith. In Episode 8, what does Jesus teach his disciples and the crowds about faith?
How does the lead up to the Feeding of the 5,000 provide the disciples with an opportunity for faith?
What are some others ways that we have seen the faith of the disciples stretched and tested over the course of Season 3?
During the climactic final scene [I won't give details here to avoid spoilers], Jesus talks to Simon Peter about the difficult trials that Simon and Eden have gone through recently. What was your take away?
I would point out to your group:
What Jesus says to Simon isn't in the original Gospel accounts. However, very similar words are found in a letter to the church that Peter wrote long after Jesus' ascension.
The show seems to be suggesting that Jesus' words to Simon Peter ultimately inspired the letter, which focuses heavily on having faith in the midst of trials and afflictions.
Have a member of your group read:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:3-7, ESV)
It will probably help to explain to your group:
In ancient times, after mining for gold, the ore was melted down in a hot furnace or crucible. The heat would burn up anything in the ore that wasn't gold and leave you with gold that was purer, stronger, and more precious. This process was known as testing, because it was used to determine what was really gold and what wasn't.
Many biblical writers like Peter use the process of testing gold as a metaphor for how God puts our faith to the test. As Peter says, our faith is like gold - but even more valuable. The difficulties in this life are like the heat of a furnace: they burn away the impurities in our heart, leaving us with faith that is purer, stronger, and more precious.
Now I would ask your group:
The idea that God sometimes allows us to experience difficulty in order to purify our hearts is sometimes hard for people to accept. How does it sit with you? Why?
God doesn't give us these experiences as punishment. Ultimately, he does it because he loves us and wants to help us become the best version of ourselves that we can be. Why is that important to remember?
Have any of you had a difficult experience that you think God used to purify and strengthen your faith? What happened?
How can we encourage ourselves or others when it feels like God is turning up the heat in our lives? What are some unhealthy ways of thinking that we should avoid?
Ultimately, why is it that we can trust God when he puts us through hardship? What do we need to remember about who he is and what he has done?
Episode 8 is an intense episode full of emotional and thought-provoking moments and I imagine that your conversations about these topics will at times be difficult and uncomfortable. Nevertheless, there's a lot to be gained through these conversations, and so may God bless you and your community as you step out in faith.
A New Resource for Studying The Chosen
If you're like me, watching The Chosen is about more than entertainment. Bible movies & shows like The Chosen provide us with fresh eyes to see the significance of the Bible and the beauty of the Gospel. That's why I'm excited to share with you a new resource that I've created to help you study biblical adaptations & reflect on how they apply to everyday life. Come and See is a devotional journal designed specifically for studying Bible movies and shows like The Chosen. It includes sections for you to take notes on each episode's plot, your favorite quotes, personal connections, questions, and, of course, Scripture references. Whether you're studying on your own or with your small group or ministry, Come and See is a perfect resource to help you dig deeper into The Chosen.
FYI: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here for my affiliation policy.
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 1-3, 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 3
Reflecting on The Chosen Season 3 & Anticipating Season 4: What Worked & What to Fix
The Chosen Season 3 Episode 1 & Episode 2: Reaction and Analysis
The Chosen Season 3 Episodes 7 & 8: Recap, Review, & Analysis
The Chosen Season 3 Episodes 1 & 2: Questions to Discuss Before the Premiere
Adapting Biblical Characters Series
Thomas & Ramah in The Chosen & Scripture ***Season 3***
Yussif, Jairus, & Shmuel in The Chosen ***Season 3***
Quintus, Gaius, Atticus, and the Romans in The Chosen ***Season 3 Update***
Little James in The Chosen & Scripture ***Season 3***
Pontius Pilate & his Wife in The Chosen ***Season 3***
Judas in The Chosen ***Season 3 Update***
Matthew in The Chosen ***Season 3 Update***
Simon and Andrew in The Chosen ***Season 3 Update***
Exploring The Chosen with Youth or Small Group [Discussion Guides]
Episode 1 Guide: Homecoming
Episode 2 Guide: Two by Two
Episode 3 Guide: Physician, Heal Thyself
Episode 4 Guide: Clean Part 1
Episode 5 Guide: Clean Part 2
Episode 6 Guide: Intensity in Tent City
Episode 7 Guide: Ears to Hear
Episode 8 Guide: The Feeding of the 5,000
Season 2 Reflection P1: What is The Chosen Season 2 about?
Season 2 Reflection P2: What was The Chosen Season 2 about? (Plots & Theme)
Episode 1 Guide: The Beloved Disciple
Episode 2 Guide: Philip, Nathanael, & Matthew
Episode 3 Guide: Life Among the Disciples of Jesus
Episode 4 Guide: Simon the Zealot & the Man at the Bethesda Pool
Episode 5 Guide: Mary's Demons & the Destiny of John the Baptist
Episode 6 Guide: Mercy and Not Sacrifice
Episode 7 Guide: Quintus Returns
Episode 8 Guide: Judas, Matthew, & the Sermon on the Mount
Episode 1 Guide: Mary Magdalene, Lilith, and the Redeemer
Episode 2 Guide: Mary Magdalene, Nicodemus, and Shabbat
Episode 3 Guide: Depicting Jesus in Art, Film, and TV
Episode 4 Guide: When Jesus Met Simon (Peter)
Episode 5 Guide: Mary, Mother of Jesus
Episode 6 Guide: Jesus, Shmuel, & the Pharisees
Episode 7 Guide: Did Nicodemus Follow Jesus?
Episode 8 Guide: The Woman at the Well, Eden, & Zohara