For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed a few posts and videos having to do with a show called The Chosen. Now some of you may be wondering what The Chosen is and why I am so excited and passionate about it. If you have a few minutes and don’t mind a little reading, I’ll tell you.
First things first: What is The Chosen?
Let me give you a little background. The origin story of The Chosen started with a short film called The Two Thieves, that a filmmaker by the name of Dallas Jenkins created in 2014. This film takes a look at the story of the two thieves who were crucified with Jesus and tells the story of Good Friday from their perspective. Fast forward several years later to 2017, the same director made another short film for his church’s Christmas Eve service, that tells the story about the birth of Christ from the perspective of the shepherds. From these two films, Jenkins got the idea to make a multi-season show about the life of Jesus, told from the perspectives of those who met and followed him. But this was only the start of an idea. Making a multi-season show needs many things to make it possible, but the biggest thing is money. Well, thanks to a God who can do impossible math, a friend, a company by the name of VidAngel, the Internet, crowdfunding, and some very excited fans, The Chosen became a reality. Over $10 million was raised by over 19,000 people around the world all because of a short Christmas film. This broke the crowdfunding record of around $5 million. And from this, season 1 of The Chosen was made. This is only a brief retelling of how this project came into existence. I will link two videos at the end of this post that goes into a deeper explanation of how The Chosen came about.
Now that you know the backstory, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of what The Chosen is about. As I mentioned above, The Chosen is the first-ever, multi-season show about the life of Jesus Christ “through the eyes of those who met him.” This is very different from other movies and miniseries about Jesus that tell the story of Jesus from the perspective of, you guessed it, Jesus. In The Chosen, we not only get to meet Jesus, but we also get to meet him in a different way. We get to see Jesus from the perspective of the disciples, the people he interacted with.
One unique thing that The Chosen does is give us backstories to these people that the Bible doesn’t really go into depth about. We know that Peter had a wife and a brother, Andrew, but what did life at home look like for them? The Gospels tell us that Matthew was a tax collector, but was it possible that he might have been acquainted with Peter and Andrew since they lived in the same town where he was a tax collector? Jesus healed Mary Magdalene from seven demons but what brought her to that place in her life? All these speculations and possibilities are explored in The Chosen with more to come in future seasons. These possible backstories give us a glimpse into the lives of the people who followed Jesus and, for me at least, make them feel more relatable and real.
I do need to note that the writers, producers, cast, crew, and everyone else involved with The Chosen do not in any way claim that the backstories and some other things from the episodes that are not found in Bible are biblical. They make it very clear that this is what it might have been like or what could have happened. A lot of research, prayer, and consulting with biblical, religious, and historical scholars have been done before anything is set in stone, put in the script, and filmed.
Another thing that makes The Chosen different from other film projects about Jesus is that it is a multi-season project. Instead of having about 2 hours or a few episodes to portray the life and ministry of Jesus, there will be about 7-8 seasons. Having these seasons will allow for an in-depth look at Jesus’ ministry and life, along with the lives of those around him. The show can take its time, exploring the relationships, teachings, and miracles of Jesus with others instead of briefly going over them.
The Chosen also portrays Jesus in a different way than other films. Many films show Jesus very quiet and stoic, having this pious, holy, and serious air about him. Some portrayals of Jesus don’t even show him smiling or laughing. Jesus in The Chosen, however, is very different. In this show, we see more of the humanity of Jesus, while still acknowledging his holy, Son of God side. We see Jesus doing ordinary human things like working, making food, joking, laughing; many of the things you and I do every day. This Jesus feels more real, more relatable. I talk more about this in another post I wrote, “The Humanity of Jesus”. I’ll link it at the end of this post.
One last thing that makes this project so different from others is that it completely supported and made possible by the fans. Unlike other film projects that have a huge studio writing a check to cover all the production costs, The Chosen is made possible by the fans through crowdfunding. The only way the show gets made is by people investing money into the show. This is done through buying merch and PIF (paying it forward) which allows others to watch episodes for free. Making a show this way also allows for us, the fans, to be part of the process of making the show. Some lucky investors even get a chance to visit the set and maybe even be in an episode as an extra.
Now to answer the second question: Why am I so passionate and excited about this project?
Two reasons. The first is this: This show has brought me closer to Jesus. I grew up in a Christian home and accepted Jesus as my Savior at a young age. For a long time, I just did what my parents did. I hadn’t really made my faith my own. When I entered high school and now college, I really started to explore my faith and beliefs, asking questions, and seeking a reason as to why I believe in and follow a man named Jesus. This show, along with other things, has drawn me closer to the Savior I love and adore. It has made me love Jesus all the more. Seeing Jesus’ humanity and what he may have been like here on earth has made him more real, more relatable to me than he was before.
The second reason is that this show is changing lives and bringing people to Jesus. I have read many testimonies of people who have felt distant from God and their faith, but after discovering and watching The Chosen, they found a new joy and love for God. Others have shown the episodes to non-believers which opened up opportunities for them to witness and share the Good News of Jesus with them. People from around the world, including those from countries where people are hostile towards Christianity, are able to watch the episodes and grow closer to Jesus. God is doing amazing things through this show and is using it to bring many into his kingdom.
To sum it all up, The Chosen is AMAZING! If you have made it through this post (which I hope you have), I highly, highly suggest you check it out for yourself. Season 1 is completed and available to watch for free. All you have to do is go download The Chosen App. This app is also free and allows you to watch the episodes whenever and wherever you want. You can find it in any app store by simply searching “The Chosen” in the search bar. Season 2 is currently being written and funded, and will hopefully (dear Lord, make it happen) be released by Thanksgiving. I also recommend PIF (paying it forward) if you are able. I have been able to do it twice now and it is such a blessing to bless others in this way.
I hope that this show blesses and touches you in the same way that it has for me. Enjoy!
Video: Dallas Jenkins’, creator and director of The Chosen, testimony about the creation of the show
Video: The Story Behind The Chosen
Link to my “Humanity of Jesus” post
Link to The Chosen Facebook page
Link to The Chosen Instagram
Link to The Chosen YouTube page
Link to The Chosen website