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The Chosen: Season 4 Review (Part 2)

Episodes 4-6 of Season 4 begin with Jesus and the disciples comforting Thomas in his grief over Ramah’s death. As they transport her body to her native town, they are confronted by Kafni, her father, and his men. Overcome with sorrow, Kafni lashes out at Thomas verbally. While Thomas endures Kafni’s tirade, Jesus remains notably restrained, doing little beyond expressing condolences to Kafni and not intervening to calm the distraught Kafni.

It’s hard to believe that the Messiah tolerated such venom, especially when spewed at his most vulnerable disciple. On the other hand, how the real Jesus handled such scenes back in that day is anyone’s guess as we, the church, understand so little of Jesus as he’s described in the Gospels. He’s the Savior of humanity, certainly. He’s the ultimate teacher, God in the flesh, without doubt. All-the-same, God does not hold back the heartache, let alone dull human interaction when it comes to blows. Though involved, God won’t curb the outpouring of our hearts, whether it’s pure or ugly. He deals with it all.

Jesus surely dealt with all of it as well, which is precisely at the heart of these episodes, Jesus having subjected himself to the human experience, taking in good moments and bad when and how they happen. On their way back from delivering Rama, Jesus and his disciples encounter Roman soldiers who, by imperial law, forced the Jewish company to carry their equipment. The disciples had to leave their belongings behind to aid the soldiers, and Judas was having none of it, expecting Jesus to challenge Roman authority by refusing the burdens on behalf of his disciples. Yet, Jesus did no such thing; he did the opposite by not only welcoming the Roman equipment but going two miles instead of the legal mile to which they were obligated. None of his disciples got the lesson, and Jesus was alone in practicing humility, setting the example.

When Gaius came to Jesus about his son, only asking that the teacher speak the healing into existence by command, Jesus was uplifted. Such faith coming from a Gentile, let alone a Roman, it brightened Jesus’ day to see such faith. Then, in the next moment, leaving Peter’s house where Gaius had come to see him, Jesus dealt with a not-so-great moment, this time because of two of his disciples, James and John. The brothers asked for status and prestige, quoting Jesus’ words to back up their bold requests. This time, Jesus was having none of it. At first, Jesus sighed and side-stepped the request, but when the brothers came back around, wanting to know why, Jesus explained in frustration that they were out of their depth. He had to let them go on ahead to Lazares’ town to have some alone time with his father after such a day.

Wandering into a covering of trees with light beaming through the branches, Jesus prayed earnestly for his father to center him again. It was time to see Jesus process his thoughts and emotions in private, something we hadn’t seen until now. The writers were getting bold. Without coming across as overly spiritual or too heavenly, the scene pealed back the moment with such care: Jesus watched Mary and Zebedee work the olives into wine, pressing them with mechanisms of powerful force, and that showed Jesus’ pain, his burden, and he alone could carry it. The silver lining was someone coming along to comfort Jesus in his pain, whether they knew it or not. It wasn’t one of his disciples, or even his mother. Gaius, a Gentile, found him and hugged him for healing his son, not knowing what Jesus would soon do when the time came not for olives to be pressed but Jesus’ very body, for his body to be broken on behalf of the broken.

This story of Jesus nearing the inevitable is now officially delving into aspects of Jesus as God and man that have not been explored before in television or film. The Chosen is now in a place of intimacy with Jesus’ journey that is both surprising and profoundly encouraging. There’s no denying that The Chosen continues to push the boundaries of Christian storytelling, and their approach speaks to the creative relationship the writers and the direction have with God himself. He goes before them, and they follow.

Their only message to the audience is Come and See. Yes should be our response.

Full review coming soon.

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