Each study will focus on an episode of the TV series The Chosen and a theme throughout the show. While this is a depiction of the gospels it also is a TV show and is best experienced alongside Scripture so each persons experience can see what God specifically wanted to input into the Holy Word and what he has allowed man’s creative and scholarly mind to add.
While many characters are introduced each episode our study will focus on one of the themes within the series and allow general discussion about all that took place. Spoilers will be discussed each week as we discuss the beauty of God’s story.
Episode 1 : I Have Called You by Name
This episode introduces us to many Biblical characters; Mary Magdalene, Nicodemus, Peter and Andrew, James and John sons of Zebedee, and Matthew.
This show allows us to look in between verses and wonder how did these characters encounter Jesus, what was their life really like. The men and women we see helped write the letters that make up the New Testament and found the first churches. Who are they?
Mary Magdalene is mentioned 13 times in the Gospels, all centered around the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The only thing we know about her past was that before Jesus she was demon possessed- Jesus drove out 7 demons and her life was changed. She is famously known as the first person Jesus appears to after the resurrection! That significance has caused some people to wonder if they were in a relationship, and there was even a false gospel, a ‘story’ written after the death of Jesus that Mary Magdalene and Jesus were married out of love for one another.
We believe their relationship was significant, but Scripture only sheds so much light. Part of why Scripture is often quiet on Jesus’ interactions and friendships, is so you and I don’t try and match up our life with Mary’s or anyone else in Scripture. God doesn’t want us playing a comparison game with the people around us. We will all have moments where we struggle with feeling ‘worthy’ of God’s love.
Why would God notice me? Why would Jesus pay attention to the hurts or troubles in my day? I haven’t done anything that would make Him notice me, much less love me. But that is exactly what the Holy Spirit wanted us to latch onto in the story of Mary’s life.
You are worthy of God’s love because He decided to give it to you. You are worthy of God’s attention because it comes out of His concern and care for you.
This Episode shows Mary using a Scripture verse her dad repeated to her like an anchor when things were out of control in her life Isaiah 43:1, “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine”
Why do you think this verse meant so much to the character of Mary? What are a few things about this verse that would offer strength or help to her in those moments?
Sometimes we feel like we have to earn God’s love or keep it by good behavior. In the show, when Nicodemus was telling the Pharisees about the need to stop fisherman from working on the Sabbath or
Shabbat, he says “It is a sin to eat fish caught on Shabbat, the Messiah will not come until this is changed.” He then says it is what goes into our mouths that defile us.
Later Nicodemus is talking to the Pharisees about his attempt to expel the demons from Mary and he says, “When we follow God’s law to the letter, God is alive in us?”
How are these thoughts contradicting what God teaches us in Matthew 15:11 & Galatians 2:20?
Read Isaiah 43:2-11
Sometimes God wraps His promises for us in word pictures ‘walking through the fire of oppression” What comes into your mind after you read this? What strength or comfort do the pictures of these promises offer?
Read Isaiah 42: 1-12 as God the Father shares about the coming of Jesus. While God’s people were in a physical captivity (the people were slaves in a foreign land), the prophecy of the Messiah described God’s servant to not only bring freedom from sin, but to be the true guide, leading people to the light of walking with God in a personal relationship.
After describing a little bit of who Jesus is, this passage transitions to calling for everyone and the whole earth to sing praise to God and give Him glory.
The same thing happened with Mary after Jesus called her and freed her from the demons inside- She began to be different, full of joy, change and focus- giving God glory with her life.
Where has God led you to experience something you can praise Him for in your life?
Do you know Jesus like this passage and this episode describes, do you have a relationship with God? Trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, as the God who knows you, loves you, and has called you- be made new in Him!
What other parts of this first episode stuck out to you?