What a surprise to learn that there is a popular TV series called The Chosen about the life of Jesus! This is not mainstream TV. Episodes are available to watch for free on YouTube. The concept they’ve used to fund the production, “Pay it Forward” is quite original, and it truly seems to be working. There are brief ads that can be skipped after 5 seconds. Though some of them are interesting and not the typical mainstream commercials. The casting is brilliant, and the acting is quite good. Sets seem appropriate for the time period, and I am definitely swept up in each episode and look forward to seeing the next one. I've watched 6 episodes thus far and really enjoyed them. The third is my favorite so far. The 1st season is also available to purchase on dvd and on Netflix.
I’ve been intrigued by this series and have learned so much. Over the years, Jesus has mainly been portrayed as a very serious teacher, from my experience. I have known his disciples through their writings, relayed in the gospels each week at church. They’ve seemed somehow distant, even if revered and loved for their teachings. Many of the gospel teachings as written in the Bible have required translation from clergy to be understood. This was the case back in Jesus’ time as well. The anointed clergy interpreted the Torah and biblical scriptures. It was not accepted that the common man could have proper understanding without the guidance of the clerics. Jesus, however, spoke directly to the people.
What this TV production interpretation has shown is Jesus as a joyful human, who related well to children and everyone. He danced, laughed and enjoyed life’s celebrations. Yes, he taught serious life lessons, and his teachings were often in the form of stories. He related well to the people, and they felt close to him. His look and his words captured the minds and hearts of those in his presence, even before he began performing miracles. I’ve felt as though this view I am watching of Jesus is more real than any other I have seen, and yet it is simpler, less dramatic and not so rigid. He is not portrayed as having a stern and commanding presence. Instead, he was gentle, wise and exhibited much warmth toward those he encountered. People were quite naturally drawn to him.
I also appreciate gaining some understanding of the disciples. I’m sure there are those among you who have studied about the Christian faith much more than I have. Basically, I religiously attended Catechism class as a child, taught by strict nuns and went to church weekly throughout most of my life. We raised our children Catholic, as we were raised. I’ve experienced my ups and downs with the Catholic Church, but have always had a strong spiritual connection in my life. All that said, I admit I know little about the apostles. Watching The Chosen has given me insight into the lives and personalities of these men and women. It’s great to see them as people in their daily lives and think of them with families and know their positions in their communities. Seeing how each came to know Jesus has also been fascinating to me. For others, this may be knowledge you already have, but for me it is truly all new. If I heard any of it as a child or in church, I evidently didn’t really learn it. Even if I had known the information, I’d still enjoy this series.
I encourage and invite you to check out The Chosen. It has been a wonderful way to spend my time, both from a learning perspective and to uplift my spirits. May you also find wisdom, peace and light from the teachings. Enjoy!
May you and your loved ones be safe, healthy and happy.
What do I mean by a teacher can guide but ultimately we teach ourselves?
As a student and a teacher for many years, I’ve thought a lot about this statement. I believe it completely. No matter how outstanding or learned or qualified a teacher is, no learning takes place without the active engagement and understanding of the student. And real learning is more than just active listening, paying attention or regurgitating information on a test. I can recite all sorts of data. Over the years, I’ve memorized many names, places, dates, “facts”, but I didn’t and still don’t know many of them until I experience the ‘aha, lightbulb moments’ of understanding.
For me, teaching isn’t just about sharing information. We’ve all had experiences where the teacher has shared lots of data and information and spoken many words, while we felt as though we hadn’t learned a thing. We also have different styles of learning and understanding comes to us in many different ways.
To really learn, a critical element is to attain a new perspective or experience some kind of change of understanding because of what was learned.
It’s the difference between a teacher explaining about the color, size, shape, texture, taste of an apple to someone who has never seen or eaten an apple, and then actually holding and biting into a crisp, sweet, delicious apple. ‘Aha, so that’s what an apple is.’
It is the difference between a yoga teacher giving instructions to bring your foot forward from a stretched out plank position, and then one day, as you shift your weight in just the right way, you can finally do what teachers have been demonstrating and saying to do for years. ‘Oh, so that’s what I am supposed to do. Now I get it!’
It is the difference between a teacher explaining about fractions, equivalents and the effects of heat in a chemical reaction and then following a recipe and baking a cake. ‘Oh, so that’s why I need to know that 4 ounces = 1/2 cup. Adding water to baking powder makes tiny air bubbles that when heat is added, causes the air bubbles to expand and the cake to rise. Now I get it.’
Those moments of understanding come from within us. The really good teachers inspire us to make the discoveries or lead us down the path in such a way that interests us enough to explore further and fully engage until the learning and understanding is realized.
When I think of how many times I may have heard the same lesson without it having much significance to me - and yes I listened, and yes I understood the words, and yes I believed I understood the lesson. Then one day, a presenter or teacher gives the same basic teaching and I hear it in a different way or I am at different point in my life or both ……and suddenly, the meaning makes so much more sense and I really “get it”. It is at the “aha moment “or the “I get it” moment that the learning takes place.
Since that teaching moment happens within us, I believe we ultimately teach ourselves.
May you and your loved ones be healthy and safe,