By Christopher Harper
The Chosen, which ended its second season last week, provides a fascinating glimpse into the life of Jesus Christ and the apostles.
When someone talks about a saint, I usually think of a holy person without flaws. The Chosen depicts the lives of primarily ordinary men and women who were called to follow Christ, mainly because of their flaws.
The show’s creator, Dallas Jenkins, has a degree in Biblical studies and has a team of scholars to ensure the accuracy of the stories. The scriptwriters took the gospel accounts and added plausible details about the lives of the figures found there. They added backstories to well-known characters and fleshed out other characters who might receive only a passing mention in Scripture.
Simon Peter is sometimes a hothead who tried to outfox the Roman authorities. His brother Andrew seems to be a good man who often is unsure of himself.
John and James, the other fishermen, are tried and true but often prone to anger. That’s why they are called the “sons of thunder.”
Matthew is the odd man out of Christ’s followers, a tax collector hated by almost everyone. He is by far the most intelligent, but The Chosen portrays him like someone with a Asperger’s disease or autism. Nevertheless, he becomes quite close to Christ because of his ability to write down the Messiah’s actions and words for what would become one of the four gospels.
Thomas is the consummate doubter—a good man who has his doubts up until the end.
Phillip is a follower of John the Baptist, who provides a rational balance and is sometimes the arbitrator of disagreements among the apostles.
Simon the Zealot once served in a group of militant Jews bent on ridding the Holy Land of the Romans.
James the Lesser, Bartholomew, and Thaddeus haven’t significantly been featured in the first two seasons, but it’s likely that they will play greater roles over the next five seasons that are planned.
At the end of Season Two, Judas Iscariot becomes a follower of Jesus Christ. He’s described as a man who is an orphan and a poet. He’s a real estate wheeler-dealer who helped the apostles rent the land on which the Sermon on the Mount took place.
But there are many other interesting followers of Christ, including Mary Magdalene. She’s a prostitute who came to follow Jesus because he cast out her demons with the simple touch of His hand. The Blessed Virgin also travels with Christ during his trips throughout the Middle East, making sense because she is now a widow and has little money to provide for herself.
One engaging figure is Nicodemus, a Jewish rabbi and powerful leader considered a saint in some Christian religions. He decides that Jesus is the Messiah, but he is conflicted about stating in public what he believes because of his position in Jerusalem.
All told, The Chosen provides a fascinating backstory of Christ’s apostles and other followers.
Although the series can be challenging to find because it doesn’t appear on Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon, try https://watch.angelstudios.com/thechosen.
It’s definitely worth a watch, even if you aren’t sure about your personal beliefs.