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Encounter: Find a quiet place away from distractions to read or listen to the Sermon on the Mount which is detailed in Matthew chapters 5-7. Maybe read the New Living Translation as it simplifies language and reads more like a story. Begin to think about Jesus’ disciples and the crowds were affected by this sermon. Ask Holy Spirit to teach you and to highlight any of the teachings of Jesus that may affect your own life issues.

Throughout the many years I have followed Jesus, there have been several authors who have impacted my life to the extent to which I would call them mentors. Trevor Hudson is one of them. His books Beyond Loneliness: The Gift of God’s Friendship and Discovering Our Spiritual Identity have, as they say, “rocked my world.” He has taught me how to live the teachings of Jesus.

Last year during the Next Frontiers pastors retreat, I had the opportunity to sit and listen to Trevor as he brought what he has written in a book to life in a classroom. It was one thing to read what he teaches in his books but quite the other to be face to face with him, asking questions, with the words he wrote being spoken as the one who had written the book. He taught with authority and it impacted me in ways that the written word could not. I encountered the author.

In the first episode of Season 3 of The Chosen, we see Jesus preaching to many people. He is saying many of the things found in scripture and reframes them in the Sermon on the Mount. As he says each line, the camera pans out to different disciples and followers and shows how it affects each of them emotionally and personally.

After the sermon, a few people from the crowd were astounded by his teachings and as Matthew records it, When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. The difference? They were encountering the author.

As we begin our new series for Lent, our prayer is we will encounter the author of what is written in the Bible so that it impacts our lives. What is it like to live The Way of The Chosen, what would happen in our relationships and in our world if we learned to live the teachings of Jesus every day.

Each week our sermon series will be based on the episode for that week. We encourage you to watch each episode before coming to worship or your small group and read Renew each week that will connect the themes and provide Scriptures to encounter, reflections to interact with the teachings, encouragement and discussion questions for when you gather with your Life group or Sunday Study Groups. There will be give-aways during worship and special events during Holy Week including another one of our popular movie nights.

Think about this! We have the gift of meeting the Author of life every day. Not only through what is written but through His presence with us in the classroom of life by the power of the Holy Spirit..who is with us and will teach us all things. Let’s learn together the impact of living the way of Jesus. Come and see! Get used to different!

Reflect: What is your one BIG question from this episode? (What captured your imagination most, and what would you ask God about the events portrayed?) Jesus said to Judas, there is only one thing I require, that you become like me. How easy or challenging is that statement to you?

Gather: For discussion in your group: Which characters stood out to you most? Which were most interesting? Most moving? Share what quote from this episode was the most meaningful/impactful to you? Why?

Things to consider when watching Season 3

This season is not as family friendly as the first two. Viewers need to be aware that there is a little more blood, violence, talk of violence, sexual innuendo, flashing strobe like images, and depictions of child death, illness, and loss. We do not believe it was over the top. This is all done very well and in the context of the story, but might be triggering to those struggling with loss and might not be appropriate for younger viewers. Some of the content might be triggering for victims of abuse and parents should be aware that there is some violence. In general, this is a very family friendly show.

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