"Living with Jesus the Man"
What You Need To Know:
“Thunder” is the first episode of the second season of THE CHOSEN television series streaming on VidAngel. The episode makes a great effort to show what a typical day was like when Jesus walked the earth. The perfect humanity of Jesus is highlighted, as is the flawed humanity of His apostles. Along with an emphasis on what life with Jesus was like, the episode inserts some biblical stories. Among them are stories of the Good Samaritan, the Good Shepherd, and Jesus calling James and John “Sons of Thunder.”
The “Thunder” episode of THE CHOSEN is heartfelt and contains excellent acting. It lacks a major plot, however, but has more episodic moments. “Thunder” focuses on the humanity of Jesus, but even so culminates with His affirmation of His Divinity. MOVIEGUIDE® advises some caution, therefore, because of the liberties the episode takes. It is a blessing that THE CHOSEN makes us think about and reflect on Jesus Christ and His teachings. The “Thunder” episode also offers an inspiring Christian worldview that focuses on the love, healing power and salvation that comes from Jesus Christ.
THE CHOSEN: THUNDER imagines what Jesus was like when he walked the earth as a man. The show opens with an older Apostle John writing the Gospel of the John. In this adaptation, John interviews the other Apostles, along with Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. The episode continues as a flashback in the life of Jesus with the Apostles.
THE CHOSEN: THUNDER makes a great effort to show what a typical day was like when Jesus walked the earth. The humanity of Jesus is highlighted, albeit perfect humanity. The humanity of the apostles doesn’t fair as well, as they complain to and about, each other. They also complain that Jesus does not stick to a schedule, leaving them confused about their respective missions. At one point, they lose Jesus for a whole day. Upset that they are constantly searching for Jesus, who “makes it difficult to follow him,” the apostles blame Jesus for their inefficiency. The apostles grumble that Jesus instructs them to spare no ex-pense when shopping at the market because they lack funds. They soon discover that all is provided to them.
Along with an emphasis of what the daily activity of the apostles may have been, some bib-lical stories are woven into the episode. Among the stories are the story of the Good Sa-maritan, the Good Shepherd, the lead-up to the time where Jesus gives James and John the name “Sons of Thunder,” and the relationship between the Apostle Thomas and his wife.
The “Thunder” episode takes some creative liberty when it supposes how Scripture was written. In the episode, Mary dictates part of what John writes to open his Gospel. Jesus takes John into the Jewish Sanctuary and supposedly inspires John’s Gospel, which would be written about 30 years later, by 65 A.D. (see “The Case for the Early Dating of the Gos-pels” by Lane, https://existenceofgod.org/the-case-for-the-early-dating-of-the-gospels/). Historically, it’s unclear how the task of writing the four Gospels in the New Testament was handled, other than the fact that the writers consulted eyewitness and were themselves eyewitnesses. As Jesus promised these eyewitnesses and His disciples in John 14:26, the Holy Spirit would inspire them to recall and write down the truth about what happened. We also know from the best Bible scholars and best biblical historians that the dynamic open-ing with which John opens his Gospel is written in a poetic and almost lyrical, but rigorous form, that may be related to the earliest hymnal writings about Jesus in the Early Christian Church after Jesus Christ’s Death and Resurrection and before 35 A.D.
Though it’s uncertain if the specific events surrounding the biblical events depicted in THE CHOSEN: Thunder, the episode has some nice moments with Jesus, who is personable and has a great sense of humor. Jesus is concerned with each person he comes across in his ministry. He spends time with them. The bonfire stories with Jesus in the “Thunder” epi-sode give viewers a certain sense of community and community worship.
“Thunder” also gives viewers an idea of how the first Christians may have lived with Je-sus. The settings are realistic. The actors deliver some very good acting. Also, the various scenes are heartfelt. The “Thunder” episode also offers an inspiring Christian worldview that focuses on the love, healing power and salvation that comes from Jesus Christ. This episode lacks a major plot, but the opening and ending segments about John’s gospel gave it a satisfying structure and ended on a theologically strong point. Also, “Thunder” focuses on showing the humanity of Jesus, but the climactic point of this episode, is John’s private conversation with Jesus where Jesus quotes “I AM” in reference to himself. A very strong reference indeed to his divinity.
Therefore, MOVIEGUIDE advises some caution because of the liberties the “Thunder” episode of THE CHOSEN takes regarding how things may have unfolded in the life of Je-sus and His Apostles. This is a good opportunity to read the Bible to sort out the actual de-tails. That said, THE CHOSEN continues to make us think about and reflect on Jesus, in-cluding His identity and His teachings.