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Dallas Jenkins says Jesus would have used social media

Jesus would have used social media to spread his message, the creator of “The Chosen” claims.

“I do believe that Jesus would’ve used tools of the day to communicate,” Dallas Jenkins stated recently. ”I mean, the Bible is obviously the greatest example of that, when the Gutenberg press took the Bible to the rest of the world. So I do believe Jesus would’ve used tools to expand his message.

“But I also think that there’s something very unique to the time that he came. And I think the fact that he came to a small town, the fact that his ministry was actually quite small, relatively speaking, in many ways speaks to the impact that he had.”

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Dallas Jenkins and Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus, review the script during filming.

However, he also noted what he called the drawbacks to using social media that he thinks the Messiah would have seen as well.

“And that his relationship with each person on an individual, one-on-one level was far more important than the masses,” Jenkins said. “Sometimes social media keeps us from having a relationship with and having an impact on that one person as opposed to ten thousand people at once.”

There is no substitute for intimate relationships, he said.

But Dwight Widaman, editor of metrovoicenews.com disagrees. “Jesus was obviously literate and educated as evidenced by Luke 4:17,” says Widaman. “The verse states Jesus was handed the scrolls of the prophet Isaiah and ‘found the place’ and began to read it in the synagog.” The verse begins “The spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.”

Widaman, who with his wife Anita leads yearly tours to Israel specializing in the culture and customs of the time to understand Scripture, says Jesus had access to the latest means of communication and chose not to use them. “Rome sent out edicts or military orders written on scrolls every day, delivered on the famous Roman highways, then read across the empire within days and weeks.  We know Jesus could read and write but he chose not to produce a scroll that could be shared with many more people than those he spoke to personally,” he says.

“Jesus was not a social media influencer,” Widaman contends. “His was a personal Gospel meant to be heard and seen by those around him. He even alluded to this when he stated, ‘The one who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?'” (John 14:9). “If Jesus was not using the technology available to him at the time [writing], I seriously doubt he would have tweeted his message with a hashtag.”

Jenkins does admit that Jesus’s message was an intimate one.

“It started small that he came primarily initially for the Jews and then it built from there,” Jenkins said. “I think there’s something that’s quite special about that. So he probably would’ve used it, but at the same time, I do think there’s something we can learn from the fact that he was just as willing and just as eager to be intimate.”

Season one of “The Chosen,” which was released in 2019, was the most successful crowd-funded entertainment project of all-time, raising $10 million from more than 19,000 people. More than $40 million in production costs funded seasons two and three through the disruptive pay-it-forward model. Season three currently is being filmed near Midlothian, Texas, on 900 acres that has been turned into a first-century city. It is expected to be released late this year.

For Widaman, there’s a danger when Christian culture attempts to redefine Jesus and the Gospel narrative. “Too many times Christians try to ascribe modernity on a message that was delivered in a specific place, at a specific time, to a specific people,” he says. “Yes, we can read those narratives and apply the lessons to us today, but to say Jesus would tweet out his message or wear this or that type of sandal just to make him more relevant in today’s culture is wrong.”

Says Widaman, “His message was relational and authentic. Those are two things are missing from social media.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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