The other evening, I invited a young cousin to watch an episode of The Chosen. Typically, I always recommend watching Episode 3 and/or 4 of Season 1 to those who haven’t watched the show yet. It’s not that Episodes 1 and 2 aren’t worth watching—- they definitely are, and I even wrote something about them, but I think that people get a whole lot more out of the show if they start with either or 4. Jesus really comes to the forefront with those episodes with more screen time.
In the opening scene of Episode 3, we see a man at night before a fire. I asked my cousin who she thought it was. “John the Baptist? Nicodemus?” I can’t blame her for guessing the latter because she saw the opening credits which listed the role of Nicodemus, as played by actor Erick Avari (who, i just learned, is Indian). But then she said something that really got me thinking: “I know that isn’t Adam.” I’m not really sure why she said that. “Ah, but it is the Second or New Adam,” I thought to myself. A a few more seconds into it, it became clear that the man is Jesus.
We see him in some kind of laborious carpentry— working by the sweat of his brow. Jesus has entered into the fallen world— so as to redeem it from the curse of the First Adam. I thought it was an interesting shot, and watching it again gave me a new perspective on it, and on the entire episode as a whole.
Later, Jesus puts finishing touches on interlocking pieces of wood —a lock and key – – and pronounces that, “it is good.” Most definitely, an allusion to Genesis. The image of Jesus working outdoors and taking pleasure in his work, seems to echo the Creation with Jesus as both God and the New Adam, taking creation back to God.
The episode is titled, “Jesus loves the little children.” It’s probably taken from that song, “Jesus loves all the little children of the world.” Indeed, the children’s faces ranging from a variety of skin tones, represents this.
I like this episode of The Chosen to start off with, with episodes one and two as follow-up watching, because of the above and also because of how refreshing it is to observe the humility and wise innocence of the children. How wonderfully well they interact with Jesus, who is himself, humility and Wisdom Incarnate. Jesus commends the special kind of wisdom that they have above that of grown-ups think they understand more than they actually do. Jesus is visibly moved when the children recite the prayer, the Shema:
Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.”
These children, so receptive, ask Jesus what he does for a living and why he’s in the world – – what is his mission? Jesus responds by quoting Isaiah as he does at the synagogue at Nazareth:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Not surprisingly, the children don’t react like the congregation at Nazareth, who want to shove Jesus off of a cliff! Anyway, it’s interesting that Jesus response to the children is from the same passage in Isaiah. Most striking, in this episode, are the words “to preach the good news to the poor.” Who are amongst the poor, but children. They have the poverty of spirit – – Abigail, one of the main characters in the episode, is also known to be from a materially poor family as well. This happens to make the ending – – which I will not give away – – even more memorable.
I’m sure there will be future episode in which Jesus again praises the humility of children… Hint: “Let the little children come to me.” –“Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. – Mark 10:14