The Chosen - Introduction Session

 

Goals

  • Be in God’s Word.
  • Marvel in the deity and humanity of Christ’s love.
  • Joy in the reality that God has called us by name (chose us) and redeemed us.
  • Contemplate how God works through us and in us.

 

The Chosen Overview Statement:

The Chosen is the first-ever multi-season television series based on the life of Christ.

As you watch, you will learn about the historical and cultural settings into which Jesus came. You will also meet the types of people that Jesus chooses to cure, care for, and call as his disciples. As you learn more about your Savior’s grace and mercy for all humanity, don’t be surprised if you laugh and cry.

The Chosen is NOT the Bible nor does it seek to be or replace reading and studying the Bible. The opening credits of The Chosen include the following statement that is worth noting:

The Chosen is based on the true stories of the gospels of Jesus Christ; some locations and timelines have been combined or condensed. Backstories and some characters or dialogue have been added. However, all biblical and historical content and artistic imagination are designed to support the truth and intention of the Scriptures. Viewers are encouraged to read the gospels. - Dallas Jenkins

The Chosen will cause you to read and wrestle with God’s Word. It forces Christians to go back and reread parts of the gospels, perhaps more critically than ever before. This brings to mind the example of the Berean church of Act 17:10-11 as they examined the Scriptures each day to see if what they heard was indeed true. Each time we do likewise, we are blessed.

Episodes will pick up on or flesh out cultural, historical, or contextual concepts that you may have never seen or heard before, providing you with fresh eyes to see familiar stories. This may not necessarily be in a new way, but perhaps in a deeper way. Would you have made the same choices for how to present certain characters and storylines? Probably not. But as we wrestle with the decisions made by the writers and directors, we will also be forced to wrestle with God in his Word and in that struggle, we get to grow and be strengthened.

The Chosen will not appeal to or engage everyone. In the same way that not every style of TV show will appeal to each of us, this style of Biblical storytellingwill not appeal to everyone either, and that’s okay. No one has to watch The Chosen to be a faithful servant of God. If you don’t like The Chosen, it doesn’t mean you don’t love God or his Word. It simply means you did not appreciate the style or way they told the story. With all that said, if you go into this series with an open mind and heart understanding that it is NOT the Bible and are ready to be challenged as you learn and grow in his word, the Lord will bless it.

The Chosen episodes adequately serve as lengthy introductions to actual Bible stories that you know and love. Most episodes build individually or upon each other to climax with a scene that is almost straight from the Bible. You will understand this more fully when you see it happen in almost every episode.

The Chosen is biblical historical fiction at its best. If you have read anything by Lynn Austin or Francine Rivers, you have experienced biblical historical fiction. Some of you might even be more familiar with a work of biblical historical fiction called “I Was There When the Giant Fell” written by Adam Nitz. It’s the story of David defeating Goliath told through the eyes of a fictional character Benaiah. It’s a great read and worth checking out as well.

Each episode drops the viewer into the life and times of Jesus and his disciples in  powerful and profound manner. The Chosen is family-friendly BUT best for adults and older children. The first episode has a couple of scenes of a demon-possessed Mary Magdalene that are a bit shocking and scary. Otherwise, the show is very watchable even with younger children.

We pray that the Lord will bless our time together so that the means of grace allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and build up our faith!

Study Format

The format for this Bible study will be watching a short portion of an episode, discussing the scriptural connections, and exploring the main themes and messages for our own personal life application. Since we will not be viewing entire episodes in one sitting during our Bible study time, you are encouraged to watch the episodes in their entirety at home so that you can understand the full context intended.

How to Watch

  • Attend the Sunday morning Bible study (watch it in sections)
  • The Chosen App on iTunes or Google Play
  • Watch on the Angel Studios website
  • Watch on Amazon Prime
  • Purchase the Season 1 DVD online

Study Outline

  • Opening Discussion
  • Viewing Section and Notes
  • What God Says and Discussion / Application Questions
  • Closing Prayer
  • Possible Further Study Items

Miscellaneous

  • Bible passages printed on the weekly study sheets use the ESV translation but you are welcome to bring your own Bible or grab one off the cart
  • We will be viewing each episode with Closed Captions on for ease of following the story for those of our brothers and sisters who would benefit from this
  • Coffee will be available each Sunday morning
  • Bring snacks to share or just for yourself
  • Miss a week? Join us the next time you are able and ask me about getting the lesson materials from the previous week(s)

Opening Discussion:

          Examine the major events timeline and maps of Israel below and then respond to the following questions:

  1. What major events on the timeline stick out to you?
  1. What trends / themes does this timeline show?
  1. What are the major map differences between the Old Testament and New Testament maps?
  1. Based on your knowledge of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and the fact that The Chosen is focused on Jesus’ adult life, where on the maps of Israel will The Chosen be primarily located? 

What God Says and Discussion / Application Questions:

  1. Throughout the Bible, God’s people get caught in a cycle of sin. Examine the Sin Cycle below:
    1. What biblical examples of this cycle come to mind?

Many times throughout this study we will read from the book of Isaiah. Isaiah was called to:

  • Preach a scathing condemnation and woe to Israel for rejecting God (Isaiah 1-39)
  • Proclaim the salvation of Israel prophesying the birth of the Messiah (Isaiah 40-66)
  1. How did Isaiah’s ministry, like many Old Testament prophets, tie into the Sin Cycle that the people of Israel often found themselves in?
  1. How are our lives often a reflection of the behavior of the Old Testament Israelites?
  1. In one word, describe the Old Testament. Then, the New Testament.
  1. In what ways are the Old and New Testaments connected?
  1. Read Luke 24:44.Based on this verse, how are we to approach everything in the Bible?
  1. How are the people of Israel before Jesus and the believers in Jesus during and after his time connected?
  1. What comes to your mind when you hear the words “chosen by God?”
  1. Season 1 Episode 1 introduces us to four main characters. What do you know about:
    1. Mary Magdalene -
    1. Nicodemus -
    1. Matthew -
    1. Simon (Peter) -
  1. Read the passages that talk about each character. Then create a summary for each character based on what the Bible tells us about them:

Mary Magdalene     Luke 8:2

                              Luke 8:1-3

                              Matthew 27:56-61

                              John 20:1; 11-18

                              Matthew 28:1

                              Mark 16:1-6

          Mary Magdalene Summary:

Nicodemus              John 3:1,2

                              Acts 23:1-10

          Nicodemus Summary:

Matthew                 Matthew 9:9

                              Mark 2:14

                              Luke 5:27

Matthew 10:3

          Matthew Summary:

Simon (Peter)         Matthew 4:18

                              Mark 1:21-29

                              Mathew 26:31-35, 69-75

                              Matthew 16:18

                              Luke 9:33

                              Luke 5:1-11

                              Luke 22:31-32

                              Acts 5:15

                              John 21:15-19        

          Matthew Summary:

  1. Why is it a blessing to be challenged in our faith at times during our lives?
  1. What Bible reading practices have you found that works for you?

Closing Prayer

Almighty Father, you chose to be intimately involved in the lives of the people we read about in Scripture. You desire to be intimately involved in our lives as well. Thank you for choosing us and communicating this message to us through your words recorded in the Bible. You sent your only son, Jesus, to be the redemption we could not win for ourselves. Help each of us to be continually invigorated in the study of your Word. Send your Spirit to grow our faith and give us the courage and opportunity to share your great news! Amen.

Further Study

Compare Luke 2:22-35 with Isaiah 42:6-9 and Isaiah 49:6. What commonalities do you find?

Compare Luke 4:16-21 with Isaiah 61:1-2. What meaning did Jesus bring to this passage?

Compare Isaiah 29:18; 35:5-6; 42:18; and 61:1 with Luke 4:22-30 and Luke 7:18-23. What takeaways can you draw from these comparison readings?

 

 

 

Bible Passages

Acts 17:10-11 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Luke 24:44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

 

Luke 8:1-3 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them[a] out of their means.

Matthew 27:56-61 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

 

John 20:1; 11-18 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,[a] “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

Matthew 28:1 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.

Mark 16:1-6 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.

John 3:1-2 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus[a] by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”

Acts 23:1-10 And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God's high priest?” And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees' party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” 10 And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.

Matthew 9:9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

Mark 2:14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

Luke 5:27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.”

Matthew 10:3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;[a]

 

Matthew 4:18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.

Mark 1:21-29 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

Matthew 26:31-35; 69-75 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock[a] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[b] shall not prevail against it.

Luke 9:33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.

Luke 5:1-11 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”[a] 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,[a] that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Acts 5:15 so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them.

John 21:15-19 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Hebrews 1:1-3 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

First class discussion questions:

1)    Have you seen this series at all?

2)    Think about the time before Jesus' arrival when people had only the promise of the coming Savior. What impact would it have had on your faith without the Gospels preaching Jesus as the Christ?

3)    Jesus is life changing. Perhaps you grew up with a relationship with Him and He has always been a part of your life. Maybe that came later in your life. What impact has He had on you? How has your life changed as a result of Him?