The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.John 1:35-36, 40-42
There have been many attempts to capture what Jesus and His disciples were like on film. Most of them either don’t get the story right or don’t get Jesus right. Either they manipulate the story to make Jesus seem more relatable or they keep the story and Jesus comes across as stiff and robotic.
But last night I watched in wonder at one of the best retellings of the gospel stories that I’ve ever seen. The Chosen, created by Dallas Jenkins, is a multi-season TV show about the life of those who knew Jesus best. In the midst of getting to know them, we discover Jesus.
I can’t quite describe what it is like to watch this show. I’ve only seen the first five episodes, but I find that two things are happening inside of me as I watch this masterful production. First, I feel like I am getting to know old friends that I’ve only read about. The life of Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew, Thomas and Mary Magdalene come alive. Their life stories weave together and begin to coalesce around Jesus. I found myself knowing these characters, after decades of studying the Bible, and yet discovering them afresh. Aspects of their life and personality come alive in a way that brings new insight into scripture. This same thing happened when I spent a semester studying and living in Jerusalem. After that experience I could never read the Bible the same way again. The same is happening as I watch The Chosen.
The second thing that happens as I watch The Chosen is an almost visceral response to Jesus. As I watch Jesus speak and interact with his disciples, his mother, and the nearby children, I find myself getting emotional. The thought that keeps coming to mind is, “This is the Jesus I know and love! This is the Jesus who invited me to follow Him. This is the Jesus I gave my life to! This is the Jesus I interact with in prayer! This is Him!”
On multiple occasions during certain episodes, I had to stop watching and just worship. Tears welled up in my eyes and I lifted my hands to the heavens in prayer and praise. I am reminded all over again about who this Jesus really is and why He is worth leaving everything behind in order to follow Him. As I’ve watched, a burning desire for others to know this Jesus has stirred inside me.
I can’t think of a better way to prepare for Easter than to watch The Chosen. Please watch it! You won’t regret it!