‘Not a preaching series’: Joel Osteen details new History channel program 'Jesus: His Life'

History Channels new series “Jesus: His Life” explores the story of Jesus Christ through a unique lens: the people in his life who were closest to him.
History Channels new series “Jesus: His Life” explores the story of Jesus Christ through a unique lens: the people in his life who were closest to him. | Jaime Yandolino

Televangelist Joel Osteen was on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Monday to talk about his upcoming 8-part History channel series detailing the life of Christ through the eyes of those around him.

In the weeks leading up to Easter beginning on Monday, March 25, History will air “Jesus: His Life,” a series that will be co-produced by Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas and a widely published author.

The series will focus on the perspective of biblical figures that surrounded Christ, such as Joseph, Mary, Caiaphas, Judas Iscariot and Peter.

Joel Osteen preaches at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas in April 2017.
Joel Osteen preaches at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas in April 2017. | (Photo: Lakewood Church)

Osteen, who has experience producing behind the scenes when his father was the pastor at Lakewood, said that the History series was not a project that he could turn down.

“I loved seeing the life of Jesus through the eyes of the people that were there,” Osteen explained. “We have seen the story but it is a little different when you see, [for example], what did Joseph think when he found out his wife was pregnant.”

Osteen added that the series will be less about preaching and more about showing what life was like for people during the time of Christ

“[The movie] is more about the culture, the setting at that time. I was inspired by that. I learned from that. You know, just putting myself in those people’s shoes. It really took on a different perspective to me,” Osteen said. “I thought, ‘Would I have responded like Joseph?’ Would I have that kind of faith?’ It is an inspiring series and I think people will learn.”

The megachurch preacher assured that the project is “not a preaching series.”

“It’s for everybody to learn about the most important man that ever lived,” Osteen contended. “Whether you believe He is the son of God like I do or not, Jesus was somebody that changed the culture.”

The series will include comments from experts, scholars, and pastors from a variety of backgrounds.

It will also include perspective from left-leaning Christian leaders such as Father James Martin, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Church and Joshua Debois, the former head of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships under President Barack Obama.

“We took it from different perspectives and makes it really well-rounded,” Osteen stressed. “It’s a fantastic series.”

“I think anybody can be inspired by the life of Christ and what he brought — forgiveness, love, respect, redemption, second chances,” he continued. “That is what we all need in life.”

Osteen was asked which of Jesus’ relationships stuck out to him the most. To that, he responded with Peter.

“I think Peter was the everyday-person. I love the fact that Jesus, when he chose His disciples, he didn’t choose the people that you would expect,” Osteen reasoned. “Peter was a fisherman. He was rough. He made mistakes. Sometimes, he cussed people out. Yet, he was Jesus’ close disciple and even when he failed when Jesus needed Him the most, Jesus forgave him. It is the story of Christ right through Peter.”

Today, Osteen says, people need the message of Christ “more than ever before.”

“It’s easy in our lives today to get caught up in our own world and just think about ourselves,” Osteen said. “But Jesus’ life was about lifting people up and helping somebody else. It seems like more than ever today, we need to make that a part of our life — being a blessing to somebody else, lift somebody up.”

As The Christian Post previously reported, the series’ premise is similar to the storyline of Sight & Sound Theatres' theatrical production “Jesus,” which also focused on the people Jesus came in contact with.

History channel previously produced a 10-part series called “The Bible.” The series was produced by Mark Burnett and drew over 11.7 million viewers in 2013. That series led to the production of the movie "Son of God" and the subsequent TV series "A.D."

The "Jesus: His Life" series will be produced by Nutopia productions, which produced the 2015 program "Finding Jesus. Faith. Fact. Forgery."

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith

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