‘God’s Faithful Work’: THE CHOSEN Films ‘Cinema History’ With Sermon on the Mount
By Movieguide® Staff
THE CHOSEN just shot one of the most popular Bible scenes of all time with the help of more than 2,000 fans.
“What. A. Miracle,” Jonathan Roumie wrote on Instagram. Roumie plays Jesus in the beloved series, which recently completed filming the Sermon on the Mount. “Over TWO THOUSAND (COVID-tested) people bravely faced the frigid temps (coldest of my career thus far – sorry dude- still needed my coat after this shot), all to hear Jesus’ words in the greatest sermon ever given to us by God Himself. Modern-day cinema history.”
Movieguide® recently talked with Katie-Beth Nolette, a faithful CHOSEN supporter and one of the extras who got to participate in the scene.
“One thing I will take away from this is a fresh perspective every time I read in the Gospels about Jesus teaching to the crowds,” Nolette said. “I can now feel and see just what it might have been like. Another thing is how faithfully God can and will take hard circumstances to make His eternal purposes! I can’t wait to see how and why He sent us the cold! And truly it was a miracle that the rain that should have we started hours earlier held off until we loaded on the buses…freezing rain would have been pretty miserable!”
The cold Nolette referenced was pretty brutal, especially for the state of Texas, which doesn’t often experience freezing temperatures.
“It was freezing,” Nolette said. “Literally. I heard 20 degrees, but think it was closer to 30. The trees all had ice on them and some people I saw had ice droplets on their eyebrows! At one point some rain droplets fell, but they were frozen drops of ice! It was very cold and we were shivering when we had to take off our winter coats and mittens and socks and put on our sandals! Kari Jobe called us the frozen chosen and everyone kept repeating that throughout the shoot!”
Nolette braved the cold for her first trip since the pandemic began. Nolette says it was actually the pandemic that helped her plug into the show in the first place.
“We would never have seen the show if it weren’t for the epidemic,” Nolette said.
Before COVID-19, the Nolette family did not have Internet in their home. When her husband swapped to telecommuting, the family purchased Internet and began watching more shows.
That’s how they discovered THE CHOSEN.
“The show ministered so deeply to us because of the epidemic. The finances to support them came because of the covid stimulus check. We felt God wanted us to give it all to those in need, since our income was unaffected by this virus,” Nolette said.
When the opportunity arose for financial partners to participate as extras, she laughed it off, thinking there was no chance the frugal family could afford a plane ticket. COVID-19 struck again, and fares were so cheap that Nolette was able to physically participate in the story.
“It was a very positive atmosphere, despite the weather,” Nolette said. “We got to take pictures in front of a tent like the one Jesus camps in during one of the episodes and in front of Peter’s fishing boat. There were merchandise tents and free lunch. And a giant stage where Phil Wickham, Michael Jr, and Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes performed for us and expressed their love of the show! It was a full-on worship time. Everyone was so friendly and supportive to one another. They did shoots of people walking across in costume to the other field where the shooting was. I missed that part! When we got to the filming field, they brought Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes and Phil Wickham in a trailer to sing ‘The Blessing’ over all of us gathered around them!”
Nolette said the Lord used the experience to affirm her faith.
“I feel like seeing the potential discomforts the crowds faced to hear Jesus made His draw for the people so much more powerful to me,” Nolette said. “It was so alive to hear the Sermon on the Mount while sitting on a cold hill in first-century garb among thousands of others! I felt so encouraged by the trust in God’s sovereignty by [CHOSEN creator] Dallas [Jenkins] and his crew. We heard his testimony from failure in cinema to THE CHOSEN and it was so cool to see God’s faithful work. Dallas kept talking about the weather not being as planned but how every time things went that way, God keeps using it for good. There was just so much faith and trust on the set that then spread through this group of so many Christians that we all had cheerful attitudes even as we froze!”
THE CHOSEN Season 2 is expected to premiere around Easter.