In the Gospel of John, the invalid tells Jesus that he has no one to put him in the water, this episode of The Chosen depicts him as having a brother who abandoned him in order to pursue life as a Jewish Zealot. While the Chosen depicts Simon the Zealot as the brother of Jesse, the invalid Jesus heals by the Pool of Bethesda, this detail does not come from the Gospels. The Chosen team has taken creative liberty to connect these two characters in order to make a point.
Atticus Aemilius also is likely a character invented by The Chosen Team to help advance the story and perform actions that we know must have happened but which are not described in detail in the Bible.
|[Here we need to add appreciation for how The way the Chosen Team is creatively interpreting the Gospel content, and not straying away from the central truth, and at the same time helping us understand the content with much clarity]|
The Bible does not tell us anything about Simon the Zealot before he met Jesus. However, his title “the Zealot” suggests that he may have been a member of a band of violent Jewish revolutionaries. The Chosen follows this assumption.
The long awaited meeting between Jesse and Simon the Zealot quickly turned into a heated conversation when the two while believing in the same God had differences with their faith. Simon the Zealot believed through his training that the pool of Bethsaida is a pagan worship place. Jesse believed it was his last hope and waited for 28yrs by the pool to be healed. Both have struggles, and both have gone through tremendous pain. While Jesse choose to stay by the pool that one day someone would lift him and take him into the pool, and he would be healed, Simon trained to be an assassin to bring down Israel’s enemies. We can sometimes be like Jesse, so stuck with our pain and suffering, instead of believing in God we can choose to approach anything that could give us immediate relief from physical or mental illness. And there is possibility that we would choose to be like Simon and be extremely rigid about the law and the rules, not realising how our actions impact our loved ones. The balance and peace we seek can come only from Jesus. When Jesus speaks to Jesse, he asks if he wants to be healed. Jesse in his hopelessness responds with everything that happenings to him and fails to answer Jesus’ question because he doesn’t know if he wants to be healed. At times we can be in a sinful situation not knowing if it is sinful and yet continue to walk when all we need is Jesus to pull us out of our misery.
A glimpse of Jesus walking through Jerusalem’s gates is shown as he looks at 3 sinners being crucified. Showing this as an insight into his near future, and responds by healing a man on Shabath in front of Pharisees. These Pharisees witness the healing of Jesse and take note that Jesus commanded Jesse to get up and take his mat and walk. As Carrying is generally forbidden on the Sabbath, we can expect that the Pharisees’ conflict with Jesus about will be shown in next episode of The Chosen.
The episode concludes with Simon the Zealot who was in the middle of an assassination stops what he was doing as he sees his lame brother walk. Jesus healed this lame man and the ripple effects of this healing is witnessed by Simon, who possibly has a changed heart.
- John 5:1-16
- Psalm 69:9
- Deuteronomy 16:16
- Zephaniah 3: 19-20
- Zechariah 8:20-23
- Exodus 20:8- 11
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO REFLECT
- Why did Jesus take John, Peter and Mathew along to Bethsaida
- Jesus told Jesse, the pool had nothing to offer him. What are the things that we usually turn to that do not satisfy, provide, or help us? In what ways do we turn to a pool that promises instant remedies instead of Jesus?
- While Jesus, Mary and the disciples were seated for the meal during the festival of booths, John questioned if some prophecies would really be completed as it seemed impossible. Do we still like the disciples lack faith with Jesus is in our midst?
- Shmuel was preaching to the people, warning them about false prophets. John also warns us of false prophets: “Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Do you listen only to someone’s words? Do you watch someone’s actions? Do their actions and their words agree -or- are they different? Is it their actions or their words that tell the truth? How do you test the truth?
** Please note this episode review is also inspired from other comments and reviews on the net. More specifically (www.thebibleartist.com, northstarfamily.org)
Do leave your thoughts and comments below.
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I watched the episode and was thrilled the way it was presented. It speaks volumes of the presenters’ own wrestling with scripture. The wonderful presentation and treatment of the episode evokes us to rethink the Man by the pool’s spirituality, but it also challenges us to rethink further than what is presented in the Gospel – like the fact that Jesus was equally there for Simon the Zealot, Shmuel the Pharisee, the Magistrate, Atticus and the other Zealots…
I have been an avid fan of THE CHOSEN. Hats off and prayerful wishes to the production team for such a brilliant n soul-stirring production. I have watched both seasons and reflected on the same with a Bible Study group; I have personally been touched and influenced in my homilectics. The Holy Bible has really come alive and a very personal and relatable Jesus is made available- for one to take forward one’s relationship with Him and deepen one’s faith. I am enjoying Season III. God bless those involved with THE CHOSEN and viewers across the Globe. Thank you Dallas Jenkins and team – brilliant acting by a committed cast…! God bless.
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