The Chosen :: Season1 Episode 8: Invitations

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The episode begins with the scene of Jacob and his sons searching digging for water and building wells. Later we will this scene being linked to Jesus.

I loved the depiction of the scene of a dinner party that Jesus attends, at the home of one of his disciples house and the mention of Holy Scripture in the dialogues, is wonderfully done. When we read the Bible, scripture appears as plain text and very few of us can connect the dots (understand) with the help of our imagination. But when I saw this scene, I could feel the hatred for the tax collectors, the various dynamics of the Jewish community, the way people belonging to the various strata of life were looked down upon. The Roman soldiers had nothing to do with the Jewish Law Teachers and the Jewish Law Teachers concerned themselves with the Law alone and had no regard for the people. And then we see the Jesus choosing his disciples from different professions and walks of life, which even his disciples did not understand, but they responded positively to their call, when Jesus invited them.

The most revealing verse about Peter in the synoptic Gospels is (Luke 4:38, 4:38–41: Matthew 8:14–17; Mark 1:29–34.), where we are told that he had a mother-in-law, who was sick and way staying with Peter. The Bible itself does not mention anything directly about Simon Peter’s wife to show us that he was married. This series shows us one of the best possibility of the life of Simon Peter, portraying his brother Andrew, wife and mother-in-law and the possible life they were leading. The importance the Marriage Covenant is cleverly included in a hypothetical scene where Jesus is shown in a conversation with Peter’s Wife Eden, in their home in Capernaum. The covenant of marriage is portrayed very beautifully in this scene and Jesus is shown telling Eden of her importance in Peter’s calling to follow Jesus. And within the context of this dialogue the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law takes on so much more meaning.

Picking up on Jesus’ call to Nicodemus to follow Him, we are shown Nicodemus’ internal struggle, and His response is shown to be based on his social and familial limitations and he choose not to follow Jesus. But he shows his appreciation by leaving some money for Jesus and his followers for their journeys.

This episode is the final one of the season and ends on the outskirts of the Samaritan City of Sychar, near the well built by Jacob. This well is supposed to be very deep and goes below sea level, and there the water is wonderfully sweet and refreshing. Jesus and his followers being Jews, heading to Samaria is very un-Jewish,  because Jews and Samaritans were enemies and did not tolerate each other. This enmity between the Jews and Samaritans can be traced from the time of the Conquest and Exile of the people of Northern Israel (10 tribes) in 721 BC. The Assyrians took the inhabitants into exile and distributed them all over their large kingdom. The Land of Samaria (i.e. North Israel, so called after its capital Samaria) was in turn was populated by five other nations, i.e. the people of Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim (2 Kings 17:24). The Jews considered themselves as a people set apart and avoided inter-caste marriage and associations with foreigners. Given the new scenario, those of Israel who were not taken away were the simple and ignorant. They intermarried with these foreigners and lost a sense of the meaning of being set apart and the understanding of the true religion and how to practice it. At Sychar (John 4:7-29), we see Jesus interacting with a Samaritan woman, and not just any woman but one who has had five husbands, and the current one is not her husband. When we see this from the eyes of theology, we can draw similarity between the woman at the well and Samaria, the woman had married 5 men and was staying with the 6th man who was not her husband. Similarly, the king of Assyria brought people from five different nations mentioned above and mixed them with the Samaritans, and now they were also under the rule of Rome.

Another aspect of Jesus meeting the woman at the well is the Biblical theme of Gods people meeting their spouses at a well. Genesis 24: 11-67 shows us Abraham’s Servant meets Rebekah Isaac’s future wife at a well, in Genesis 29:1-28 we see Jacob meets Rachel near a well, and in Exodus 2: 15-22 we see Moses meeting Zipporah near a well and ends marrying her. All these scripture verses highlight the bridegroom traveling from a distance land and meeting the woman at the well, and then the maiden then goes and announces the arrival of the man to her household and then their marriage takes place. We see the same thing happening with Jesus the Bridegroom, he has come from a distance and resting at the well, and them comes the Samaritan Woman. This Samaritan woman represents all of Samaria that is to say the Northern Kingdom, and here is Jesus proclaiming the Kingdom of God to this Samaritan woman asking her to be His bride (to accept the good news of the Kingdom of God and now associate with God). Also let have a close look at the figures. The woman has had 5 husbands and the one she is staying with currently is not her husband, the 6th man, and now Jesus is inviting her to be union with her and be her master and husband, and Jesus will be the 7th man. From the Biblical figures we know that 7 is the number of perfection. And Jesus is the perfect husband for this Samaritan woman, in allegorical sense the perfect God for the Samaritans (i.e. the Northern Kingdom).

This scene of the Samaritan Woman at the well is beautifully depicted in this episode and is setting for the stage for the next season. Hope you have enjoyed the review of this season do leave comments in the space below.

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