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Two by Two (Exploring The Chosen Season 3 Episode 2 with Youth or Small Group)

Updated: Jan 16

If you're planning on watching The Chosen Season 3 for pleasure, my suggestion is that you watch Episode 1 and Episode 2 together, since the two episodes are so intertwined. However, if you're planning on studying The Chosen Season 3 with your small group, Bible study, or youth ministry, you're going to need to watch the two episodes separately. Not only are Episode 1 and Episode 2 of The Chosen Season 3 a lot to watch, these episodes also contain a lot of biblical content to study, reflect on, and discuss. [By the way, if you want to take a deeper dive into Episodes 1 & 2, you can read my reaction and analysis here and you can explore how the show adapts Little James from Scripture here.]


Big James, John, Zebedee, and Nathanael in The Chosen Season 3
Big James, John, Zebedee, and Nathanael in The Chosen Season 3

 

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Episodes 1 and 2 of The Chosen Season 3 show us the impact of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and set up the conflicts that will ensue in reaction to his growing influence. As I suggested in the previous Bible study and discussion guide, I believe Episode 1 is focused on how Jesus' teachings lead to conviction, repentance, and reconciliation - that is to say, the inward impact of the Sermon on the Mount. This focus bleeds over into Episode 2 - particularly in the early scenes where Matthew and his parents reconcile with one another in response to Jesus' teaching. For the most part, however, Episode 2 begins to shift our focus from the inward impact of the Sermon on the Mount to its outward impact.


As Jesus' fame begins to spread, his followers will no longer be able to operate as a single unit. To meet the growing demand for Jesus' message and miracles, the disciples will need to split up into pairs and go out on mission. Now that they have received Jesus' core teachings, these Apostles ("sent ones") are granted the authority to represent Jesus and share his message and his healing power with people who haven't been able to meet him. And yet the impact of Jesus' growing fame and influence isn't completely positive. As pilgrims flock to Nazareth in search of healing, we see that the likelihood of friction between Jesus and Rome is increasing. Moreover, Jesus warns the Apostles that as they represent him across the land of Judea, they too will face opposition and rejection.


Before Watching The Chosen Season 3 Episode 2: Review Questions

I included a pretty extensive review section in my last study guide because I assumed there might be a pretty significant gap between when viewers watched Seasons 1 & 2 and when they watched Season 3. I'm assuming that most groups that are watching and discussing Season 3 will probably go through an episode a week or maybe every other week, and so you probably won't need to do as much review in between each discussion. That being said, here are some recall questions you might want to ask before you watch Episode 2 in order to ensure that everyone in your group is on the same page going into the new episode:

  • What do you remember about the home life of Simon Peter and his wife, Eden, in Season 1 of The Chosen? How has life changed for them since Jesus appeared? How has Simon changed?

  • What did we learn about Ramah's father at the beginning of Season 2 of The Chosen? How have we seen the relationship between Ramah and Thomas develop over the course of the show?

  • What was the relationship between Matthew and his family like before he met Jesus? What happened at the end of Season 3 Episode 1? What do you think led Matthew's father to call him son again?

  • What was the relationship between Matthew and Gaius like before Matthew met Jesus? How did Gaius react when Matthew left? How do you think Gaius will respond now that he's listened to Jesus' teaching?

  • What have we learned about the Zealots so far? How do you think they will react when they realize that Simon Z has abandoned his mission?

  • What was Atticus Aemilius' original mission? Since he began tracking Simon Z and the disciples, what has he witnessed? How do you think he will respond?


Paras Patel as Matthew in The Chosen Season 3
Paras Patel as Matthew in The Chosen Season 3


Before Watching The Chosen Season 3 Episode 1: Bible Study & Discussion Questions

Episode 2 of The Chosen Season 3 has one of the longest scenes based on Scripture in the show so far (falling just behind the Sermon on the Mount scene in the previous episode). The show does a good job of taking what is presented in Scripture as a long monologue by Jesus and transforming it into a dialogue, in which the disciples interrupt Jesus to ask questions and express concerns and much of Jesus' teaching is given in response to these questions and concerns. I'm sure some people will complain that it's adding to Scripture, but from my perspective the scene is an excellent example of the benefit of a show like The Chosen. Any good expository sermon on the original passage would have to explain how Jesus' teaching is responding to exactly the kinds of questions and concerns that we see the disciples expressing in the scene. But instead of getting these concerns explained to us, we see them dramatically depicted in a way that will stick even more powerfully than an explanation would.


Because I think the depiction of the commissioning of the Twelve Apostles is so effective at illuminating the original source material, I would suggest only briefly introducing the passage before the episode and then engaging in deeper discussion after you've watched the scene unfold. To begin, have someone read the following passage:

And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. (Matthew 10:1-15, ESV)

Now I would ask your group:

  • Imagine you were one of the twelve disciples that Jesus was commissioning to go out and represent the Kingdom of God. What questions and concerns would you have?

  • Why do you think Jesus felt a need to send out the disciples like this? Why not keep them with him and go visit all these places together?

  • What exactly do you think Jesus is trying to accomplish through his disciples? What seems to be their goal?

  • In what ways is our situation similar to the disciples? In what ways is our situation different?

I would then explain:

  • This passage is only a small portion of a much longer speech that Jesus gave to his disciples in order to prepare them to go out on mission. Episode 2 of The Chosen Season 3 depicts this important moment and also highlights some of the questions and struggles that the disciples would have had in response to Jesus' instructions.


Jordan Walker Thomas as Little James in The Chosen Season 3
Jordan Walker Thomas as Little James in The Chosen Season 3

After Watching The Chosen Season 3 Episode 1: Bible Study & Discussion Questions

After watching an episode of The Chosen, I always like to begin discussion by asking:

  • What stuck out to you about today's episode? What connected with you personally?

  • Did you have any questions about what happened? Anything we need to clarify?

It's entirely possible that those questions by themselves will be enough to generate enough conversation for the remainder of your night. However, if you'd like a more structured conversation, you can follow up by turning the attention of your group to the focus of the episode. You can point out:

  • In Episode 1 of Season 3, we saw the impact that the Sermon on the Mount had on the disciples at a personal, inward level. In Episode 2, we begin to see the larger, outward impact that the Sermon and Jesus' growing fame are beginning to have.

Now you can ask:

  • How is Jesus' growing fame beginning to have a concrete impact on the town of Nazareth?

  • How did Gaius, Atticus, and Quintus respond to this?

  • Although Gaius and Atticus were able to keep the tent city from creating too much friction, how do you think Quintus will respond if the fame and impact of Jesus continue to grow?

  • What impact has Jesus had on the Zealots? How did we see them respond?

  • Although Simon Z was able to escape safely during this episode, how do you think the Zealots will respond if the teachings and impact of Jesus continue to grow?

Next, I would turn the attention of your group back to the commissioning of the disciples:

  • Jesus responds to the growing impact of his ministry by sending the Apostles to go spread his message and perform miracles and by asking the women to care for the pilgrims and finance the ministry.

You can ask your group:

  • As Jesus commissioned the Apostles, many of them expressed questions and concerns. Let's try to list all the concerns and questions that we saw the disciples express, either during the meeting or in private.

  • Whose reaction could you relate to the most?

  • Many of the Apostles were nervous about the new task that Jesus had called them to do. At the end of the episode, how did Simon Peter encourage the others?

The prayer that the disciples recite is Psalm 3. I'd suggest having someone read the whole psalm - or you can all read it together like the disciples did:

O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.
Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah (Psalm 3:1-8, ESV)

This might be a good point to end your discussion, but if you want to go a little deeper, you can ask:

  • What is this psalm about? [Hint: the title of the psalm says: "a psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son]

  • How did the experience of David in this psalm connect with what the Apostles were about to experience? Why do you think this psalm was encouraging for them?

  • When have you found it encouraging to pray using the words of a psalm?

  • What are some future situations you might face when this specific psalm might be encouraging?

 

Further Reading

An adaptation like The Chosen isn't meant to replace the Bible; it's meant to drive us deeper into the Bible and spiritual reflection. The 40 Days with Jesus series helps readers connect what they watch in The Chosen with the Gospel stories that they're based on and then engage in spiritual reflection. The Kids edition is written for children ages 8-12.

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

Adapting Biblical Characters Series

Exploring The Chosen with Youth or Small Group [Discussion Guides]


Season 3

Season 2

Season 1

Specials

The Chosen Controversies Series

Beyond The Chosen



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