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The Chosen Review – Separating the sheep and the goats

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chosen review ep 8 - The Catholic weekly
Judas is conflicted when Jesus shows his approval of Mary spending a year’s wage on oil that could have been given to the poor or used in the ministry. Photo: thechosen.tv

Viewers of The Chosen’s fourth season have been eagerly anticipating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, and at the conclusion of episode seven, everything seemed set for a season finale depicting Palm Sunday. 

But Jesus only sets his face towards Jerusalem in the episode’s final moments, before a fade-to-black cliff-hanger to build anticipation for season five. 

Instead the showrunners give the audience a lesson in Old Testament typology, with King David depicted entering the Holy City after returning from war, riding a donkey.  

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The purpose of leaving Jesus’ entry until next season, is to focus attention on all that has come before—every miracle, doubt and debate—has led to a people who are as ready to condemn their Messiah as they are to crown him.  

With every witness who is impassioning the crowds with their recounts of Jesus’ miracles, such as Veronica (the woman whose bleeding was healed in season three episode five) and Jesse (Simon Z’s brother, the man healed by the pool of Bethesda in season two episode four) who testify outside the Temple in Jerusalem, there is a religious leader attempting to denounce them.  

And as people pour into Jerusalem from “all corners of the known world” to celebrate the Passover, we are reminded of the extent of Christ’s works through an interaction between Praetor Gaius and Eden as she prepares to leave with Salome, Jairus, Shula and Barnaby. 

But as we should recall, these crowds also carry those like Ramah’s father whose grief has led him and his followers to desire Jesus’ destruction. 

At a meeting of the Sanhedrin, many speak out against the escalating acts of “sorcery” being performed by Jesus but some, like Yussif and Schmuel, suggest that there is the possibility that Jesus could be Elijah and insist that the matter requires further investigation. 

High Priest Caiaphas interjects the lively debate with his own “prophecy” that Jesus be publicly executed by Rome to save the Jews from retribution.  

The details of the plot are as sinister as the images of the High Priest sitting on his throne, darkened in shadow. 

Schmuel and Yussif try to warn Jesus about the conversations in the Sanhedrin, expressing an openness to who Jesus may be. 

But Schmuel is taken aback by a perceived contradiction between Christ’s words on identifying with the poor and his acceptance of Mary of Bethany’s “waste” of expensive oils and immodesty as she anoints Christ feet with her hair. 

This scene not only reveals the conflicting attitudes towards Christ between the religious leaders but also the disciples themselves, as Judas questions Jesus on why he approves of such wastage of money that could have been given to the poor or used in the ministry. 

Once again, Judas is deaf to Christ’s words on the eternal and, through further immorality, continues on his diverging path, paved with good intentions. 

As the disciples meet Jesus and his mother, ahead of their entry into Jerusalem, Matthew and Simon Z arrive from the other direction with a donkey. 

Christ explains to them all that the time has come and asks if they will come with him—a question that Peter answers by affirming that Jesus alone has words of eternal life.  

Reassuring of his love for them to the end, Jesus mounts his donkey and sets out for Jerusalem. 

The plot is planned, the key players are set, and the sheep are separating from the goats on the journey towards Christ’s Passion and Resurrection. 

Episode 8 of The Chosen Season 4 can be watched via The Chosen App or here.

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