'The Chosen' season 4 'most intense, mature and challenging' yet, says Jonathan Roumie

Season Four of 'The Chosen'
Season Four of "The Chosen" | Lionsgate

LOS ANGELES — As the latest season of the biblical drama “The Chosen” nears its debut in theaters, viewers should be prepared to witness Jesus experience some of the hardest parts of His earthly ministry — losing loved ones and experiencing increased persecution, not just from the Romans, but from His own people. 

It is, according to Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays Jesus, "by far, the most intense and mature and challenging season" yet.

"Not just for me, but I think for everybody on the cast and crew,” Roumie told The Christian Post. “But I think what we created is going to be pretty beautiful.”

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“The Chosen” season 4 (episodes 1-3) hits theaters Feb. 1, with episodes 4-6 playing in theaters Feb. 15 and episodes 7-8 debuting Feb. 29. It marks the first time that the full season of a television streaming series has debuted nationwide at the cinema.

Directed by Dallas Jenkins and distributed by Lionsgate, "The Chosen" is the first-ever multi-season show about the life of Jesus Christ and His followers. Set in first century Galilee and Judaea, the series stars Roumie, Shahar Isaac, Paras Patel, Elizabeth Tabish and others.

While previous seasons of “The Chosen” have focused on Jesus’ early ministry years and teachings, including some of His most well-known parables and miracles, season 4 depicts the Son of God as a “man of sorrows” and "acquainted with grief" as the story builds toward His crucifixion. 

Because the Bible often doesn't delve deeply into the moments of hardship in Jesus' life and ministry, Roumie said that to embody Jesus’ painful experiences, he turned to prayer and sought to infuse as much of his own humanity as possible into the character. 

“I just had to really put it all to prayer and inform as much of my own humanity as was scripted in the page and hope that that kind of gets in the ballpark of what Jesus may have felt during these moments,” the 49-year-old actor said. 

Like previous seasons of “The Chosen,” season 4 delves into the backstories and lives of Jesus’ disciples and friends, including Peter, Mary Magdalene, Big James, Matthew and Judas. 

As His disciples grapple with what, exactly, it means to be a follower of Jesus, the show depicts how Christ calls them to complete surrender — a theme Roumie said will resonate with viewers today. The actor emphasized that following Jesus doesn't guarantee an easy life, a common misconception among some of His followers.

“I think people thought He might have just been like, ‘OK, the Romans are gone, the bad Pharisees are gone. It's just us, life is great,’” Romie said. “No, it's the opposite. 'There's going to be more and more of those people, but if you've got me, you're going to get through it.’ Keeping you focused on Him is what allows them to get through all of it.”

“I think ultimately, that points back to our need as humans to surrender and to trust God,” the actor added. “And that’s what Jesus is asking of … His disciples and what He asks of believers today: ‘You’ve got to trust me, no matter how hard this is going to get. Know that I've got it under control, that I am the Way the Truth and the Life.’ That’s a hard thing to put into practice, to make a daily part of our lives. That's a challenge for us today just as much as it was 2,000 years ago.”

"The journey of 'The Chosen' began back in 2017 as a pioneering crowdfunded project. Since then, it has evolved into a global phenomenon, captivating 110 million viewers across 175 countries. Series creators have voiced a commitment to employing meticulous attention to historical and biblical accuracy, garnering praise from religious leaders, theologians and scholars alike. 

For Roumie, playing Jesus for over half of a decade has brought personal transformation; the man he was before “The Chosen,” he said, is “night and day” from who he is today. 

“My heart wants different things,” he said. “My heart seeks God in all of my endeavors, at every moment of the day. It did, maybe most of the time prior. But I think once you really convert your heart for Christ, He just wants more of you and you want to give Him more of yourself and do His will, because your life just gets better and better as you follow Him.

“Even the stuff that makes life really difficult, you process it differently, you embrace it differently,” he added. “And I think if people got into the habit of offering their own suffering and trials that they experienced in their lives in communion with Christ's suffering and the trials He went through, it immediately lightens the load, and it then sanctifies that personal suffering that we go through and uses it for a purpose to Him.”


Roumie said he hopes the upcoming season of “The Chosen” challenges viewers to reflect on their faith and resilience in the face of adversity — a path Jesus’ disciples walked as they journeyed alongside the Savior. 

“If they're surrendering to the idea of resisting, I think turning the other cheek is something that we really get out of season 4, and walking a mile in somebody else's shoes while going the extra mile,” he reflected.

“I think it's contrarian to what [the disciples] would have normally expected, but I think it then builds this sense of compassion that they're going to need for the rest of their fellow man as they go through all the trials that are going to be coming their way, as they mature in their leadership once Jesus is no longer with them. They are now being taught the ground rules for how to become ministers and leaders of the faith and perpetuators of the faith.”

Watch the trailer for season 4 of "The Chosen" below.

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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