Have you watched any of the episodes of “The Chosen”? It is a multi-season TV show about the life of Jesus. The show has received high praise in some circles (I like it!) and has garnered a vast audience all over the world. The series was created by Dallas Jenkins who wanted to do a series on Jesus that would show not only his divinity, but also his humanity. In the program we see Jesus preaching and working miracles, but we also see him telling jokes, fixing his own meals, dancing with his friends, conversing naturally with people, and saying his evening prayers. Jenkins had three religious advisors while making the film: a Rabbi, a Catholic priest, and a Protestant minister.
“The Chosen” is now in its third season. And you can watch it for FREE on “The Chosen” app, the Angel app, and the show’s website. It’s also available on Netflix, Peacock, Fox Nation, and Amazon Prime. The show stars Jonathan Roumine who, as one critic said, captures Jesus’ “masculinity and gentleness.” The series makes familiar people in the Gospels come alive: Peter, Andrew, Matthew, and the other apostles as well as Jesus’ mother Mary and Mary Magdalene.
I chose one 7 l/2 clip from the series for us to view and reflect on. It is the cure of the hemorrhaging woman (Mk. 5:25-34). Jesus is on his way to see Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter who is dying. The crowds push him from all sides. A nameless woman appears who has had a serious (and embarrassing) menstrual problem for 12 years. According to Mosaic law, she is “unclean” and anyone she touches is unclean too. After being crushed by the crowd, the woman finally succeeds in touching the tassel of Jesus’ garment. Instantly she is healed. Here’s the video. Click on closed caption if you wish. A few reflection questions and thoughts follow the video.
The video has been blocked. Sorry. But you can find it by searching: “The Chosen – cure of the bleeding woman.” Click on the excerpt that is about 7-8 minutes long. It is well worth the search!
What is your general reaction to this short clip from the film? (Maybe describe your thoughts/feelings in a word or two.)
Did anything stand out for you? If so, what?
For 12 years, this woman has been cut off from community because of her condition. What effect do you think Jesus’ words, touch, and healing will have on her life?
What did you think of this portrayal of Jesus? Is he realistic? approachable? strong? compassionate? Can you relate to this Jesus? Why or why not?
Here are some of Jesus’ words to the woman. Can you hear Jesus saying any of these words to you?
She calls herself “unclean,” but he calls her “daughter.”
“It was not my garment that healed you. It was your faith.”
“My daughter, you have been fighting for so long, you must be exhausted.” (What effect would these words have on her?)
“You have blessed me today.” (What do you think Jesus means by these words? Can we humans actually bless God? bless Jesus?)
“I’m so glad we found each other.” (What did they give to each other?)
“Go in peace.”
This week we begin our Lenten pilgrimage. On Ash Wednesday we are reminded that “we are dust.” Yes, but we are also the daughters and sons of the Living God. We are brothers and sisters to one another. We are one world community. During Lent we traditionally focus on three practices: prayer, fasting, and alms giving. As we do these things, let us remember that at the heart of our faith, is our personal relationship with Jesus. How might we strengthen that personal relationship this Lent?
My prayer for all of us is this: May we hear Jesus call us by name… May be feel Jesus’ loving gaze upon us… May we experience his profound understanding of where we are at this particular time in our lives… May we feel him grasping our hands and saying to us: “You have blessed me… I’m so glad we found each other.” And may we hear his words, “Go in peace.”
I hope many of you will share a few of your thoughts, feelings, insights, and questions below. Or you might share your Lenten “practices” this year. I also invite you to comment on what someone else has said. I would love to hear from you! So would our other readers!
P. S. I ask your prayers for a retreat I’ll be leading this coming weekend for graduates of Regina High School. The 24 women will be gathered at Bethany, our retreat center here in Chardon from Friday evening until Sunday noon. Thank you for your prayerful support!
Our song is a gentle yet strong Lenten hymn, “Gracious God” by Jesse Manibusan.
You can leave a comment below. Thank you!