The Chosen and autism

A blessed Christian series that also embraced the autistic cause

Denis Bruestle
The Autistic Nikkei
2 min readApr 19, 2021


Tax collector Matthew, played by Paras Patel, in The Chosen series.

A friend of my wife once recommended The Chosen series, which can be watched for free through its official app. She really liked the series and said that we would not regret seeing it. Well, we downloaded the app and saw the first season. My wife and I came to a unanimous conclusion: it is PERFECT.

What is The Chosen and what is its differential?

The Chosen is a Christian series that tells about Jesus’ ministry, but from the perspective of other people. For example, in the first chapter of the first season, the focus is on Mary Magdalene. In another episode, he is in a group of children.

Much more than “visually transliterating” the Gospels, as many films have done, the series adds such a profound humanity to Jesus, His disciples and other characters that, even if you are not interested in “religious content”, you will be impacted. The Chosen manages to masterfully accomplish the Bible’s true purpose: to focus on the relationship between God and men.

Jesus is portrayed as a friendly and good-humored man who, at the same time, manages to convey a serious and profound message. Christ’s trustworthiness is so high that if they told me they traveled back in time to record scenes from the show, I would believe it without question.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder in The Chosen

When I watched the show for the first time, I noticed the tax collector Matthew, played by the actor Paras Patel. The character exhibits stereotyped behavior, typical of an autistic person:

  • Good with numbers and calculations
  • Likes organization
  • Responds directly, without fear of the consequences
  • Not so good socially
  • Don’t show his feelings

My suspicions were confirmed when I watched a video on the show’s official YouTube channel. Creator and director Dallas Jenkins reports that he decided to make Matthew as someone on the spectrum as he found this plausibility in the behavior of the biblical character, in addition to his daughter and some family members also having ASD.

The mentioned video

Dallas’ noble gesture not only enriched the show’s plot, it also brought representation of the autistic cause through someone important, one of the writers of the Gospels of Jesus. Furthermore, it shows that Jesus chooses and empowers anyone who sees fit for God’s purposes, even an autistic person.

To end this article, another cool thing about the video is that one of The Chosen’s songs was composed by a girl who also has Autism Spectrum Disorder. 😉