The Chosen

May 25, 2020 at 9:46 PM

Two friends at our church recently told us about a TV show that follows the book of Luke. I was interested so my wife and I decided to give it a watch to see how close it was to the book of Luke. The name of this series is called, “The Chosen.” We’ve since watched the entire first season consisting of 8 episodes. We also enjoyed it enough to purchase the first season on Blu-Ray.

Here is an official trailer from the production company.

There are some very good aspects to this first season and, as expected, a few things that don’t quite gel with me simply because it appears they don’t jibe with Scripture in a precise way. Fortunately those things are minor and overall the series seems to stand out for it’s fairly faithful portrayal of Luke.

I’d like to break the first season down in the following areas and offer a review:

  • cast/characters
  • storyline
  • production values

Cast/Characters
First off, the team of actors the series enlisted to bring the book of Luke to life appears top drawer. Unfortunately Christian-themed movies or shows tend not to have big budgets and because of that cannot get quality actors.

The Chosen doesn’t have this problem. From the actors who portray Matthew, Mary, Nicodemus, to Jesus and others, the casting is well done. It is very difficult to see people acting as their character appears to come from within. That is huge. Looking them up on IMDb.com provides clear evidence that these actors are well versed in the art of acting. However, there are one or two characters that don’t seem true to me but I won’t mention them to keep my bias out of things as others may see them differently.

Overall, the actors have done a fine job and the actor who portrays Jesus does an excellent job.  Portrayed by Jonathan Roumie, it is evident that he brings a great deal of pathos, compassion and more to the role. There are a few minor issues I have but that has more I believe to do with the script itself. I cannot imagine portraying God the Son and in interviews with Roumie, he says as much. What he attempted to do is show Christ’s humanity even during the miraculous scenes. I think he succeeds because Roumie’s version of Jesus is not as aloof as Christ has often been portrayed. He engages with His disciples and other followers and the humanity of Jesus is especially evident in his portrayal of the King of Kings.

Watching each episode will likely bring most viewers close to tears as they watch and hear the very words of Luke taking shape on the screen in front of them. It’s remarkably well done.

The Storyline
Overall again, the storyline is fairly well done. The screenwriters and producers take some license creating backstories and they admit to this. In general I don’t have a problem with that because it is difficult to know what happened before and in between Luke’s text. What they present is mostly plausible.

do have a couple of issues that I’ll mention. When Jesus meets the possessed Mary of Magdala, she is visibly irritated by Jesus but little more. She feels the need to get away from Jesus, but what is astounding is that demons living within her did not immediately announce who Jesus was and as you’ll no doubt recall, there were several times Jesus came across demon possessed people and the demons immediately recognized Jesus. Take for instance the demoniac at Gadarenes (Luke 8:26-39). It seems clear enough here that Jesus’ approach to the man and command to leave him got the demons begging for Jesus to not send them to the pit (or “torment” the man as the Matthew 8:28-34 example says “before the time,” indicating time of judgment). Torment would’ve meant being sent to the bad side of Sheol, or hell itself. The demons begged Jesus to send them into the nearby herd of swine and Jesus allowed that.

Another example in Scripture is from earlier in Luke when Jesus cast out another demon from a man actually in the synagogue. Who says Satan and his minions stay away from church?

 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Ha! 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.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. (Luke 4:34-35 ESV)

It is clear from these two examples alone that the demons – all of them – would’ve immediately known who Jesus was and acted accordingly. At the same time, we have no idea what may have happened prior to the times recorded in Scripture, when Jesus was younger. While someone could say that Jesus’ public ministry had not begun yet, it is clear from Scripture that Satan clearly knew who Jesus was and tried to kill Him before He was born. We can assume that all demons would’ve been entirely aware of the young boy Jesus and done all to destroy Him. If not for God’s protective hand until the appointed time when He was to die, Satan would’ve killed Jesus a good deal sooner.

Since we are talking about God the Son in human form, it is very clear that He would’ve been recognized immediately by all beings within the spirit world or the dimension that we cannot see. That’s my pet peeve there. I think because Luke didn’t really specify the actual meeting between Jesus and Mary the producers took a few liberties here. Admittedly it bugs me a bit, but maybe that’s just me.

It also bugs me that Jesus “winked” at someone during a party. I realize that in general the type of winking warned against in Scripture is the type signaling deception. Certainly this wasn’t Jesus’ intent. Still for me it was slightly off-putting. But let’s move on.

Production Values
As with the casting and overall storyline(s), I am impressed with the quality of production. I almost thought it had been filmed in Israel but it’s filmed in Texas! The production uses green screen and digital effects where necessary and they are quite well done, in my opinion. They are not at all distracting and tend to take you out of the story. In fact, the effects generally add to the overall quality of the series.

My wife and I watched the entire first season and really enjoyed it. The first episode is longish and the producers admit that. They had to introduce the characters and establish storylines. We have begun watching it again so that we can pick up more details that we may have missed watching it the first time.

We enjoyed the first series enough to buy it. The way it works is you buy the DVD or Blu-Ray of the first season and that money goes toward producing the second season. Apparently the producers would like to film 8 seasons or so in total. If the quality remains as it has been I hope they get there! 

If you want to learn more about the Bible or are a visual learner, you would likely benefit from this series, The Chosen. It’s a good tool to invest in to pass along to friends and family who might not otherwise read the Bible or have much to do with church. This is undoubtedly the producers’ intent as well, not simply to put Luke to the screen.

We are living in a day and age where the Bible is unfortunately, often relegated to the shelf, even though a majority of people in the United States will tell you that they have a Bible in their homes. Having a Bible of course, is only the first step. Reading it daily, meditating on what you’ve read and praying to the Lord (as in having a conversation with Him), is what is needed. Without these things, growth and maturity in Christ will never happen.

Check out The Chosen. You can download RediscoverTV app if you have a Roku system. There, The Chosen is broadcast free of charge and there is no payment needed to use ReDiscoverTV. The Chosen can also be viewed online in various spots. You’ll want to find out more on The Chosen’s website from Vidangel Productions.

If you like the show, buy a DVD or Blu-Ray and pass the word. It appears that nearly half of the episodes for Season Two have been financed so I would think that season would be out sometime hopefully by the first part of 2021.

https://studios.vidangel.com/the-chosen/

Entry filed under: christianity, Demonic, eternity, israel, Judaism, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: , , , .

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