The hit, crowdfunded, Christian series The Chosen created by Dallas Jenkins and starring Jonathan Roumie as Jesus, hit theatres on November 18th. You might recall that in 2021, they brought Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers to the big screen for weeks. This year, as they prepare to launch season 3, they do so by showing the first two episodes in theatres. Season three begins with the Sermon on the Mount, as season two ended with Jesus’s preparation to deliver his life-changing message. Hopefully, without spoiling the episodes for you, here are some things I appreciated from the first two episodes of season three, and a few things that I didn’t.
7 Things I Appreciated From The Chosen Season 3
1. The Words of Jesus Will Come Alive
I’ve heard the scriptures proclaimed. I read the bible. I proclaim the gospel at Mass as a priest, and I preach on the passages. As I heard Jonathan Roumie pronounce the words of Jesus, they touched me in a different way. I’ve heard the words before. I know them well, yet they pierced my heart and touched me in a new way, challenging me to live them anew.
2. You Will See People Living the Gospel
Jesus preaches the Sermon on the Mount and gives people a guide on how to live their life. It was very touching to see some of the main apostles go out of their way to reconcile with family and one another. As you see it play out in the episodes, you will be left wondering and reflecting about what would happen if all Christians strived to live these words of Jesus more intently in their life.
3. Jesus Prays and So Do His Apostles
As Jesus preaches the Sermon on the Mount, he also imparts to the people the words of the Our Father. You’ll see the apostles mouth the words after hearing Jesus pronounce them. Jesus, who has gone off to deserted places to pray, gives the apostles and the crowd words they can pray. A moving scene comes at the close of episode two when Peter leads the group in prayer. These two episodes will remind viewers of prayer’s importance and primacy in their life and encourage them to pray more often and without ceasing.
4. You Will See John the Baptist in a New Light
John the Baptist is the one who prepared the way for Jesus and his ministry and he pointed Jesus out to his own followers and encouraged them to follow him. After the Sermon on the Mount, someone who knows John the Baptist wants to share news with Jesus. Andrew, formerly a disciple of John, wants to go and reconnect with John. Viewers will see the toll of ministry on John and where it has brought him. Even though he could be saddened and downtrodden about his situation, I was impressed by the joy he exuded. John was able to encourage Andrew and instructed him to listen to the teachings of Jesus.
5. You Will Think About the Hidden Lives of the Apostles
I’ve always known that Peter was married. The gospels tell us about his mother-in-law. I had never previously considered the relationship of husband and wife, of Peter and Eden, and the toll of following Jesus and what that meant for them. As Peter will become the head of the apostles with his forthcoming profession of faith, I began to wonder what it meant for Peter’s family for him to have this title and role. The character of Judas Iscariot is introduced in these first two episodes. It’s a portrayal of who he was, what he believed, and for us who know how the story ends, we wonder how he became the traitor. I also never considered the possibility that one of the apostles would want to get married after being called by Jesus. Whether or not this happened, I’m not sure, but it is the artistic license of the show to portray this.
6. You Will Notice the Need to Trust God More in Your Life
The notion of trust is one that the apostles need, and it is something that we all need too. Andrew was told he needed to rest and trust more. As Jesus prepares to send the apostles out two by two, they begin to doubt their abilities and preparation for the mission. This again is a moment for the apostles to trust Jesus. James, who struggles with an infirmity, and needs healing himself will have a one-on-one encounter with Jesus, where Jesus loves him as a son or brother, and imparts words that lead him to trust in what Jesus is asking. If the apostles needed to trust, we can begin to notice moments of resistance in our life where we need to surrender to God.
7. You Will Know the Difference that Being Chosen Makes
The apostles were chosen. Some of them grapple with what that means for their lives. Matthew was told he was chosen, to which he responded, “To this day, I don’t know why.” Because they are chosen, their lives now are different. A moving line from the final moments of the episode was Jesus reminding the apostles “none of you are what you were.” Because they are chosen, because they know him, their lives are now different forever. Because they are chosen, they now live his teachings, which impacts so many people on so many different levels. Being chosen means that life is different and for the better. What does being chosen to be a follower of Jesus mean for you?
The one thing I didn’t appreciate in The Chosen Season 3….
I recommend season 3, episodes 1 and 2 of The Chosen. Watching them will deepen your love for Jesus, the Word of God, and your commitment to living Jesus’s teachings. But there was one unsettling storyline– the overly sexual desires of Peter for his wife. Maybe I’m a prude. But it left me a bit unsettled. I know they are married and that such desires for the unitive act are good. I’m just not entirely sure I needed to see it as a storyline. It’s not the way that I think about St. Peter, but such a statement could be said for other scenes and characters. When you have a theatrical presentation of scripture, you are left with the director, producer, and actor’s portrayal. It doesn’t mean I have to agree with every minute of the show. And I can allow it to challenge my own thinking. But what I won’t let it do, is discourage me from watching the rest of season three, because to do so, would have me missing out on the spiritual fruit I can gain from this artistic expression and reflection of the gospels.
How do you watch Season 3 of The Chosen?
Season 3 will be available to stream for free on The Chosen app available for both iOS and Android mobile devices. Angel Studios app, available for Amazon Fire TV, Google TV, and Apple TV devices and smart televisions, will also feature Season 3 of The Chosen.