By: Gabriela Yareliz
Something that has truly impressed me about the series The Chosen is how alive the characters are. They stand before us in their flawed and relatable humanity. Sometimes, when we read Scripture or we have read certain stories over and over again, we see these characters as kind of flat. We miss some important lessons.
The disciples are an interesting bunch. Something that stands out as we watch is how truly different they were. Watching how most in the group excluded the former tax collector Matthew (and some like Simon hated him); watching the similarities between Matthew and Thomas (and the disdain Thomas has for this); watching the brother dynamics (there were several sets of brothers)– it’s fascinating. Scripture, just like the show, doesn’t shy away from the conflict that arose due to the differences in personality, background, profession, and even wealth. And what I find even more interesting is that these differences never went away. There are elements of these people that cannot be removed or taken away, like their pasts. It is what it is.
That’s not to say the disciples didn’t change. Their characters changed. As they spent time with Jesus and each other, the men we see in the book of Acts are not the same as the ones we see trekking in the gospels. They were able to learn to work together, despite their deep differences. More than that, God had a special purpose for each one. Jesus called each one because they had a sincere heart and something about that heart had something special to bring to the table and to the world (whether they knew it at the beginning or not).
Jesus saw every detail and put them together despite the friction and discomfort. The leadership in some, the nurturing in others, the beauty and craft of some, and the attention to detail in others. None of this was an accident. He gathered an unlikely group, but I would dare say that in this unlikely group, somewhere in there, we can find a piece of ourselves represented.
What a lesson, to see that what makes us different should not divide us, but should grow us. What a lesson to see that God doesn’t just use one type of person, but that pieces of His character can be seen across the spectrum. We are all made in His image. What a lesson that different people shouldn’t mean different groups, but it should mean one powerful group. What a lesson that as we walk with Jesus, we can learn to work together. Our goal and mission are bigger than who we are. It’s all about Him.