Section A: The Scene
The Chosen is a streaming video series on the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ with record-breaking viewership. They did a decent job in Season 1, but a scene found in Season 2, Episode 3 has major blasphemy against the Mother of Jesus. In this scene, a female disciple of Jesus named Rama is sitting next to Mother Mary and expresses her concern about how to know and follow Jesus in a better way. (As St. Mary Magdalene is also in this scene, I will refer to the mother of Jesus below as “Mother Mary.”)
Rama says, “I feel like I need to not make anymore mistakes.”
Mother Mary responds, “How do you think I felt?”
Andrew says, “You probably feel that everyday. No?”
“Not anymore,” Mother Mary says. “He always reassured me. God always made me feel like I shouldn’t be burdened.”
“So how did you feel when it happened?” asks Mary Magdalene
“When what happened?” asks Mother Mary
“His birth. Even before that. How did you know, when did you know who He was?”
“I don’t know. We’re all tired. Do we really want to hear all that?” Mother Mary replies.
“YES”, they all respond.
“Oh,” Mother Mary says, laughing. “Well, nothing about it was easy, I can tell you that. It wasn’t in my hometown. My mother wasn’t there. We had no midwife. I don’t know if I’m ready to give all the details. Maybe some other time. But I do remember this. When Joseph handed him to me, it was like nothing I expected. It was like everything I had heard about having a baby but I thought this would be completely different.”
“What do you mean?” asks Simon
Mother Mary continues, “I had to clean him off. He was covered in, uh, I will be polite. He needed to be cleaned. He was cold. And he was crying. And…He needed my help. My help. A teenager from Nazareth. It actually made me think for just one moment, is this really the son of God? And Joseph later told me he briefly thought the same thing. But we knew he was. I don’t know what I expected. But He was crying and He needed me. And I wondered how long that would last. He doesn’t need me anymore. Not since we taught him how to walk and eat. He hasn’t needed me for a long time I suppose. And after Joseph passed, may he rest in peace, He grew up even quicker. And I wish I could say that made me happy. Of course as a Jew I’m excited to see everything He does for our people and I’m proud of Him. But, as a mom, it makes me a little sad sometimes.”
Section B: Why the above script is blasphemy against the Immaculate Virgin Mary in three ways.
Part 1a: The Script from Section A. Rama says, “I feel like I need to not make anymore mistakes” and Mother Mary responds, “How do you think I felt?”
Part 1b: The Theology. This is blasphemy against the Immaculate Virgin Mary because she was sinless and faultless and this script implies she was not by making “mistakes.” Is a mistake the same as a sin? Not necessarily, but even evangelical songs of praise and worship now use “sin” and “mistake” interchangeably, so claiming a “sin” is not the same as a “mistake” no longer holds water in the year 2021. And if “mistake” is not tantamount to “sin,” that is, if “mistake” only means: “accidentally adding too much salt to the bread” then why did Rama express so much conviction in saying, “I feel like I need to not make anymore mistakes”? Yes, if mistakes are accidents, then the Chosen‘s Jesus is making His own disciples feel great shame and guilt for putting too much salt in the bread. And Mother Mary has apparently corrected herself on this, too.
Part 1c: The Bible and Fathers. The Bible uses the Greek word κεχαριτωμένη to speak of the Immaculate Virgin Mary: And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.—Luke 1:28. The Greek word for “full of grace” there is κεχαριτωμένη and it is the perfect past participle of both the noun and verb GRACE. Put this together and it means the Angel Gabriel is saying to the Immaculate Virgin Mary that she is already fully graced perfectly—hence the perfect past participle of the verb)
The Church Fathers were unanimous as to the sinlessness of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. The Eastern Fathers called her in Greek PAN-HAGIA (all holy.). When someone asked St. Augustine about this, he replied “I wouldn’t even use ‘sin” in the same sentence as her.” Not a single Christian in the first 1000 years of Christianity has ever doubted the sinlessness of Mary.
Pope BI. Pius IX wrote Ineffabilis Deus in 1854 including the following: “Far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully.”
Part 2a: The Script from Section A. She says, “I had to clean him off. He was covered in, uh, I will be polite. He needed to be cleaned.”
Part 2b: The Theology. All of the Church Fathers hold that the birth of Jesus was painless to both Jesus and Mary and miraculous, likening this to “the emergence of Christ from the sealed tomb, His going through closed doors, the penetration of the ray of sun through glass.”—Ott 206
Part 2c: The Bible and Church Fathers. Mary’s painless giving birth to Jesus is prophesied in Isaiah 66:7: “Before she was in labour, she brought forth; before her time came to be delivered, she brought forth a man child.” Furthermore, even a non-Catholic Christian should have been able to identify that a painful and messy birth is the effect of sin from Gen 3:16. Mary, who was sinless as proved above, was spared this. The infallible Lateran Synod in 649 under Pope Martin I said “She conceived without seed, of the Holy Ghost, generated without injury [to her virginity] and her virginity continued unimpaired after the birth.”
In the 20th century, Pope Pius XII wrote in his encyclical Mystici Corporis that “It was she who gave miraculous birth (mirando partu edidit) to Christ Our Lord.” One of the Eastern Church Fathers, St. Basil, wrote “The friends of Christ do not tolerate hearing that the Mother of God ever ceased to be a virgin.” Yes, all of this shows that every Christian in the first 1000 years of Christianity (except heretics) would be disgusted at a blasphemous line such as, “I had to clean him off. He was covered in, uh, I will be polite. He needed to be cleaned” in reference to what every early Christian and Church Father knew (via Scripture and oral tradition) to be a miraculous birth.
Part 3a: The Script from Section A. “It actually made me think for just one moment, is this really the Son of God? And Joseph later told me he briefly thought the same thing. But we knew he was. I don’t know what I expected.”
Part 3b: The Theology. Mary knew Christ was the Son of God. The Angel told her so. She never doubted this, and certainly not 9 months after the Annunciation.
Part 3c: The Bible and Church Fathers. The Church Fathers are not even needed for this one. It’s absolutely unbiblical and blasphemous for Mary to say at any point following the birth of Jesus that she asked herself (or Joseph) “Is this really the son of God?” Mary is the greatest prophetess who ever lived, so she probably intuited all of this at the Annunciation and Incarnation (if not before) but we have proof in the Gospel of St. Luke that nine months before the birth of Jesus, Mary already knew He was the Son of God for the Angel Gabriel directly announced to the Immaculate Virgin Mary: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.—Luke 1:35. If you had an angel appear to you who called Christ the Son of God and then had a miraculous birth, would you utter the words a few months later, “It actually made me think for just one moment, is this really the Son of God?”
Of course not. This script isn’t even Biblical at this point.
Nota Bene Non-Catholic evangelical Dallas Jenkins is the producer and director of The Chosen. Jonathan Roumie is a Catholic who plays Jesus in his series. Jenkins spoke to a Catholic priest during Season One of his series in a video called A Catholic Priest Responds to Mary in the Chosen. Mr. Jenkins, if you are reading this, I would encourage you to find a traditional Catholic priest who knows very basic Marian theology so as to not offend educated Catholics. I would be happy to help if you contact me, because I realize from the above link that you may have been misinformed by Catholics on the set or elsewhere. I promise you that everyone making The Chosen should remember that the smallest blasphemy against the Mother of God is going to be an extremely offensive movie to His Son, no matter how many people come to Christ through it. The end does not justify the means.