I know I’m opening myself up to judgment with this, but I was actually grieved to be done with the last season of Ozark.
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That probably infers some unflattering things about me. Now hear me very clearly: after moving on to watching The Chosen I’m already hyper-grieving this show ending. And I’m not even done. I’m not a crier yet every episode has left me with a moist eye of joy. I don’t want to binge this. I want to marinate my mind and heart in each episode.
I believe this is the greatest thing ever produced on the life of Christ. It doesn’t have the highest production value, but it is good enough. What do you expect from non-Hollywood elite types who bankrolled a free app through a Kickstarter campaign? Yet every episode gets better as the cast and crew get their reps in.
I had heard of this project multiple times but didn’t have much interest. Why? Because I’ve always been let down by any depiction of Jesus. He has been everything from an emaciated man on Prozac to a nice enough but uninspiring teacher. I liked Jim Caviezel in Passion but it was far from a feel-good movie. I’ve found The Chosen to be in a category all its own.
What do I like about it so much?
Jesus is a person I would actually like and give my life to. This Jesus is both masculine and tender. He is compassionate and strong. He is driven and flexible. He plays with kids and makes farting noises. I want to be with and laugh with that Jesus.
Familiar stories are taking on new life. The scene of Jesus’ first miracle in turning water into wine shows the tension of the moment in a way I had never before considered. I got emotional over the sensitivity of the moment and the generosity of Jesus.
Character development of the disciples is fresh. The gospels don’t give us much information on what might have been happening before the disciples left their previous ways and went on an adventure. This potential backstory is plausible and enriching.
Seeing things in the Bible I hadn’t seen before. I’ve known the story of Jesus giving Peter a miraculous catch of fish. What I had never considered before was this was a financial windfall for him that very well may have gotten him out of a jam, and at minimum changed the game for him financially.
I see myself in these stories. My wife Lib and I will look over at each other at various points as if to say, “that could be me!” The events of Jesus have become more personal to me instead of seeing it as only history.
We all have more time to stream and binge to our heart’s content right now. The problem is that our heart is rarely the better for it. Yours will be if you give this one a shot.
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