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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

"The Chosen" Shoots its Sermon on the Mount Scene

Updated: Feb 27, 2021

Thousands brave the cold to take part in production of this celebrated moment from Jesus' earthly ministry.

Jonathan Roumie, Abe Martell and George Xanthis (left to right) rehearsing a scene last year. Image: "The Chosen"/Instagram.

Featured in the fifth, sixth and seventh chapters of the New Testament Book of Matthew, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount is undoubtedly the greatest and most well-known sermon ever preached. It contains The Beatitudes and famous exhortations to Believers to be salt and light, to enter through the narrow gate, to seek first His Kingdom, as well as clarifying teachings on things ranging from murder, to adultery and divorce, to loving our enemies.

Jonathan Roumie (left) and Dallas Jenkins during production in December, 2020 in Utah. Image: Dallas Jenkins/Instagram.

In a word, it is a monumental moment in the life of Christ and one that informs who we are and much of what we believe as Christians. That means portraying it appropriately will weigh heavily on the entire cast and crew of The Chosen, and particularly on show creator and director Dallas Jenkins and lead actor Jonathan Roumie, who plays the Jesus character.

They've spent this week shooting the scene on location in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, where they are finishing the second part of production of season two; the first half took place late last year in Utah. Despite frigid temperatures - at least for the Lone Star State, where today it was supposed to top out around 31-degrees (that's zero Celsius) - things went well, according to a social media post from Roumie.

"And it just so happens that the ice-rain didn't start to drop until after Dallas Jenkins yelled "Cut!" on our last shot. Praise the Lord. What a day...God is good. All the time."

In addition to that inclement weather and the profound importance of the scene's content, Jenkins had a massive logistical challenge. He incorporated some 2,000 extras for the famed sermon's audience! And each and everyone of them was outfitted with a period-appropriate costume and had to be tested for the coronavirus. Having done a scene for Miracle on Christmas, our first feature, with more than 100 extras, we cannot imagine how challenging it must have been to keep nearly 20 times that many folks on the same page, as it were.

No word yet on when the eight-episode second season will release, though Jenkins has previously said he would like to put something out around Easter. Until then, the first season is now playing every Monday night on TBN, and Christian Film Blog will continue to keep you updated on developments with season two.

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