1 March, 2024

Let’s Talk About . . . ‘The Chosen’ (Season 4, Episodes 1-3)

by | 2 February, 2024 | 21 comments

We typically review movies in this format, but today is our third article reviewing a streaming series about the life of Jesus. As always, we provide talking points and questions to help explore spiritual topics and to share your faith experience with family and friends. 

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The Chosen (Season 4, Episodes 1-3) 

Unrated • 2024 • Historical Drama • 8 1-hour episodes 

Starring: Jonathan Roumie, Elizabeth Tabish, Paras Patel, Shahar Isaac 

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By Andrew Wood 

The Chosen is an immensely popular multi-season series depicting the life of Jesus and his disciples. It’s a story well-known to most Christians, but the fanciful dramatic backstories it weaves make the gospel feel fresh and new even to those who have grown up in Sunday school. The first three episodes of season 4 premiered as a cinematic release on Thursday, Feb. 1, and the remaining episodes will premier later this month before all are released for streaming. 

TAKING A DARKER TURN 

Seasons 1-3 of The Chosen chronicle Jesus’ rise to celebrity status, including his remarkable preaching, miracles, and the call of his disciples. The series sets up rich storylines weaving together the disciples and the Jewish and Roman authorities as they try to make sense of this enigmatic new teacher and the upheaval he brings to their lives.  

Most of this material is fictional, so the viewer needs to suspend disbelief of some of the scenarios and follow the story more with an eye to what Jesus says and does, which is closer to the actual Gospel accounts, than the imaginary details of some of the dramatic storylines. 

Season 4 takes a much darker turn. John the Baptist has been arrested and meets his tragic end, foreshadowing the fate Jesus himself will suffer at the end of his life. The disciples contend with conflicts and jealousies among themselves and must learn unfamiliar qualities of humility and forgiveness. Jesus’ teachings and miracles are polarizing society to such an extent that the authorities are moving toward forceful intervention. And Jesus’ own actions seem almost deliberately designed to make things worse, to the confusion and dismay of his own disciples. 

LIGHTER MOMENTS 

As in earlier seasons, light and humorous moments pervade Season 4, humanizing the characters and relieving some of the tension of the serious and tragic events unfolding around them.  

Matthew (Paras Patel) is a consistently endearing and relatable character with his earnest sincerity and nerdy awkwardness. A love story between Thomas (Joey Vahedi) and his love interest, Ramah (Yasmine Al-Bustami), provides charming comic relief as the disciples take turns mentoring and chaperoning them.  

Jesus (Jonathan Roumie) never disappoints. Roumie’s portrayal of the Messiah strikes the right tone of authority and approachability. His patience, bemusement, and empathy for the disciples is palpable. The dialogue is peppered with modern expressions like, “You wouldn’t get it” and “I got you,” which help make the characters accessible to a modern audience. 

RELATABLE SITUATIONS 

More than that, the situations themselves presented in the series are immensely relatable. We see how Jesus helps his followers process grief and loss, and how he gently but insistently motivates them to forgive one another.  

The disciples must make a decision to continue following Jesus even when he doesn’t do what they expect, and when the blessings of healing and resources he showers on others don’t spare them from hard work and tragedy.  

And they must also learn to do things Jesus’ way even when they can imagine ways to accomplish things more efficiently with a different strategy, organizational model, or fundraising. These are lessons modern Christians desperately need to hear and assimilate. 

HOW TO VIEW THE CHOSEN 

The Chosen was financed through crowdfunding. That is, people who believe in the project send online donations to fund its production and distribution. This allows the final product to be available worldwide for free online streaming, thus getting the message out to the greatest possible audience. Making a choice to see it in theaters first not only adds to the full-immersion dramatic impact of the film, it also helps to fund future episodes. 

Season 4, episodes 1-3 are currently available in theaters. Episodes 4-6 will premier Feb. 15, and episodes 7-8 will be in theaters Feb. 29. The most convenient way to stream the series online is through the app: “The Chosen: Stream the Series.” You can even cast it on your TV for your family or small group to watch together. 

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If you’d like to take your discussion of this series with others to a deeper level, try some of these questions: 

The Chosen takes quite a few creative liberties. What are some areas where it would be most important for people to understand the difference between fiction and the actual Gospel accounts? 

• Which of the disciples do you most identify with in the series? How does Jesus’ interaction with them enhance your sense of connection with him? 

• If you had lived in Jesus’ day, what obstacles would have prevented you from following him unreservedly? Are any of those obstacles in your life today? 

• Who in your life could most benefit from watching The Chosen? What one thing could you say to them that best summarizes the value of this series to you? 

Andrew Wood, a former missionary to Ukraine and professor at Nebraska Christian College, is a freelance writer.

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Read Andrew Wood’s earlier reviews of this series: 

• Let’s Talk About . . . ‘The Chosen’ (Seasons 1-2)

• Let’s Talk About . . . ‘The Chosen’ (Season 3, Episodes 1-2)

21 Comments

  1. Paul Coffel

    My friend and I were discussing The Chosen, Season 4, Episode 3. Just about all of what we have seen in The Chosen has been biblically accurate. Obviously there are many small additions to provide context, humanness. But the story of Thomas and Ramah left us concerned. We see nothing of this story in the Bible. We were actually debating the aspect of Jesus “choosing” not to heal her would damage his credibility to those watching the show to learn about who Jesus is. Are you aware of this Thomas/Ramah story in any other writings?

  2. Kay Coker

    I share Paul’s concerns about the amount of time devoted to a love story that is not biblical. For u believer’s viewing this episode it will be seen as truth when it is not.

  3. margaret waterford

    who is Abner in Ep1 season 4

  4. MP

    The whole Ramah storyline takes Jesus completely out of character for me. The shepherd leads the sheep to Calvary. The sheep are not struck because of the shepherd

    Goes against his Jesus’ own words: “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” John 17: 12

    “If you are looking for me, then let these men go. This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” John 18: 8-9

  5. Holly Miller

    I have chosen not to watch The Chosen. I am in love with God’s Word because It is alive and active and powerful and God’s true love story and love letter to me. The more I am in it, the more I want to be in it. My life time isn’t even long enough to find all of the treasures in God’s Word, so I wanna spend my time in it alone. I want only God’s truth in my heart and mind.

  6. Shane Linder

    I was surprised The Chosen played out the Catholic interpretation that Peter is the “rock” given Protestants have disagreed with that interpretation dating back to Martin Luther. The Chosen has, however, shown Mother Mary to be as Protestants believe – the opposite of Catholic teachings.

  7. Natalie Thorman

    I thought The Chosen was as close to the Bible but the end with Thomas and Ramah, it was made up. That part was disappointing and I feel was thrown in there for theatrics not what the Bible says.

  8. Maria Roche

    I think Ramah was created to give a boost to (doubting) Thomas in his faith. You can see that from the wedding in Cana (in previous seasons). There are a number of little things that are in the show, but, not in the bible, but I find them somehow connect us in our time with Jesus. Ramah’s character had to be eliminated hence it was done. I think it’s part of story-telling. I admire Dallas’ writing, adding a little here and there to make it interesting (it’s only a show) and well done!

  9. Charlotte Purcell

    People. The Chosen series for me is an intimate look into Jesus. Please. Do not get caught up in what is not biblical. Ex:Thomas and Ramah. We are told story lines will be part of this story. If you are a reader of the Bible then you know what is biblical. And how wonderful it is to understand what is happening because we have read His word. How about Moses forming the golden snake. Lane being sold that will be the place for the woman at the well. For the non-believers this is an opportunity to teach and reach them! Please. Let’s all focus on the beauty of Jesus Story! I am drawn into the episodes. Everytime. I am a pay-forward. No brag. I am called to give. This series is Priceless.

  10. Nikki

    Episode 3 of Season 4 left me anguished. It was difficult to watch & I had to force myself to get up & leave the theater. I…like Thomas, thought “FIX THIS”. I could not reconcile the decision of Jesus to let Ramah remain dead. Seeing Ramah, who so fiercely believed in Jesus & chose to leave her family to follow Him – her tiny lifeless body lying on the ground did not make sense. She was so devoted to Jesus that even her last words to Thomas pleaded “Stay with Him. That is what I want. Stay with him.” I wonder what the Apostles reactions to her horrible, senseless death will be? Knowing that the resurrection of Lazarus is coming, how does one accept the healing of some & not others. That Jesus raises his best childhood friend from death – but not Ramah? I love Jesus, my Lord & Savior, with all my heart, yet I have difficulty with unanswered prayers. Unanswered requests. I am going through a lot of loss in my family right now. I know not to lean on my own understanding. I’ve been taught to trust & have faith. I do not ever want my Jesus & Lord to feel I am unfaithful or disloyal, but I have to numb myself to losses & the unanswered prayers. It is so difficult to separate what I’ve been taught & what I know vs what my heart feels. Does anyone have any words of advice?

  11. Dawson

    The Thomas and Ramah plotline is definitely not biblical. But then again, nothing in the show is completely accurate to the scriptures and certainly will not meet everyone’s interpretation of it’s passages. But that’s not the point of the show. The point of this series is not to be a replacement to scripture or even a supplement to it, but rather as a way to help non-believers encounter Christianity and give believers a new perspective on the ministry of Christ. And Nikki, I will be praying for you sister, my only advice is to trust in the word of the Lord in Romans 8, “and we know that the Lord causes all things to work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Do not trust in our finite knowledge and perspective, but rather in the one whom true knowledge and perspective comes from. May God be with you and Christ in you

  12. Amy Schrader

    A dear friend and I saw episodes 1-3 tonight. I also left the theater disturbed, but that may be part of the purpose. It forces conversation. We had to go talk about what we saw, and it opened up some realizations for both of us that following Jesus will eventually cost each of us something.That loving Jesus does not exempt us from suffering and experiencing loss. This is an idea as old as the book of Job. Jesus Himself also suffered loss during his 3 year ministry, including the loss of his cousin John, which hurt Him deeply. He could have just as easily raised John from the dead, but He did not. Yet when we read the gospels, we see that Jesus experienced grief over this loss. I believe God is using the storytelling in this series to deepen our understanding of our own walk with Jesus and strengthen our ability to let Him hold onto us, even and especially when we don’t understand what He is or isn’t doing in our lives.

  13. John

    Who was the baby that died?
    Was it a flash back from the past?

  14. Denise

    John, the baby was King David & Bathsheba’s. See 2 Samuel 11 &12 in the Bible. They sinned against God, so God took their son.
    *******
    Nikki, I’m so sorry for your loss. Praying for you now. Healing can be here on earth in our physical bodies or when our physical bodies die, to go be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    To live is Christ, to die is gain. Philippians 1:21.
    None of us know when our last day on earth is. In can be anywhere from conception to a very old age.

    God bless you all!

  15. kisyjjlzaloznieuhc@ckptr.com

    Well this a triple bummer, spoiler alert everywhere on the net for episode 3 (S4) while Melbourne Australia cinemas only showed 1&2, watched yesterday, then ready for another binge of 3&4 and today the cinema told me most cinemas in Melbourne, Australia have only shown the first 2 (season 4) and no more, where I watch episode 3 for Melbourne, Australia & then the rest?

  16. Eric

    I watched season 4, episodes 1-3. I wasn’t particularly disturbed by the Thomas-Rhama plot though I thought it was a bit distracting at times.
    What I was disappointed with was the lack of accuracy in the healing of the blind man scene. The scene’s setting was completely wrong! It is one thing to add background plots to flesh out the story line but to take an actual event and then to change it is really to distort the truth.
    The healing of the blind man took place in Jerusalem, not in Capernaum. Jesus specifically asked the blind man to go wash in the pool of Siloam (John 9:7) not in some bucket sitting nearby. The blind man never saw Jesus until sometime after he returned from washing.
    I liked this series and have watched it from the start. But I disagree with changing actual scripture accounts.

  17. Terry

    My wife and I had plans to see The Chosen episodes 1-3 at the theater yesterday for Valentine’s Day.
    However, we had an emergency plumbing issue and were unable to attend.
    What is the earliest and how can we view these episodes?
    Are we able to purchase them on Angel Studio’s streaming channel?
    Please advise.

  18. Linda Ko

    Was the prayer they said at the Lord’s Supper. Was that in the Bible?
    If so, where?

  19. Donna Gause

    I didn’t get to watch episodes1-3 at the theater and so now that 4-6 have already come out, it doesn’t make sense to watch them before seeing the first 3 episodes. This leaves others like me out and lost ticket sales because I’m sure there are others like me that would go to see the new episodes but we haven’t seen the first ones yet.

  20. George Buckley

    I agree with Donna. We missed several attempts to see Episodes 1-3. And do not want to see Season 4 episodes 4-6 without seeing the first 3. Will Guild members get early access to the Season? Is there any way to see the first three episodes before 4-6 leave the theater?

  21. Jhonny

    Hi George same here. Hope there is a way to watch episode 1-3 of season 4 so that we can chance to see 4-6 in theatres.

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