Encounter Jesus in The Chosen
“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.” ― St. Augustine of Hippo
Have you seen it yet? Seasons 1 and 2 of The Chosen, co-written and directed by Evangelical Christian filmmaker Dallas Jenkins, are delightful. I was hesitant at first to watch, worried that a non-Catholic Christian portrayal of Jesus might be irreverent or misleading, but I highly recommend the show to any Christian who is curious to see parts of the Gospel come to life.
I re-encountered Christ while watching The Chosen. It inspired me again and again to pick up the Bible to read and compare the text with the series, cross referencing the retellings of the events happening in the show with each of the four gospels.
One of the best things about The Chosen is its focus on the initial encounters between Jesus and his early disciples. We see Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew, Matthew the tax collector, James and John, sons of Zebedee, Thomas, Simon the Zealot, and others come face to face with the Son of Man named Jesus of Nazareth. All of them witness the impossible: a miracle performed by Jesus, healing the sick, turning water into wine, or casting out a demon.
The Chosen reminded me of my personal encounter with Jesus too, a journey that began in a moment of powerful forgiveness on a retreat during my senior year of high school. With Jesus’ grace, I wrote the name of the man who sexually assaulted me when I was 14 and literally cast it into the fire. Tears poured down my face and a sense of peace and forgiveness washed over me. It felt like mercy erupted inside my heart but I knew that the power to forgive wasn’t my own. It was Jesus’, won on the cross. Jesus offered me the freedom from wounds that had ensnared me for years. He allowed me to forgive the man and the bystanders who hurt me, and to forgive myself for losing my faith in the years that had followed.
When I watched the episodes of The Chosen, these memories and emotions came flooding back to me. I felt the immensely personal love Jesus has for me and my heart exploded with gratitude. You may not have as visceral of a reaction as I did, but I can promise the show is worth the watch—at least worth giving the first episode a try!
The circumstances in which the disciples were called are very relatable in the way they are portrayed on the show. Their interior struggles, financial uncertainties, and expectations cause them to question their response to Jesus, even weeks after they started following him. Their doubts are consistently outshined by Jesus’ presence, a reminder that He is calling all of us to greater intimacy with Him. External pressures and interior doubts tempt us to say no to Christ’s call, to cling to a more comfortable past life, but The Chosen reminds us that saying yes is worth any price.
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Renee lives in Arlington, VA, and works for an international development firm in Washington, DC. She loves leading Walking With Purpose Bible studies at her parish and trying new cuisines from local restaurants. She has a Master’s in Latin American Studies from GWU and a Bachelor’s in Communication Studies from the University of Miami.