The Chosen star’s turnaround after surrender to Jesus


By Mark Ellis –

Jonathan Roumie stars in The Chosen

Jonathan Roumie, the man who plays Jesus in The Chosen, reached the lowest point in his life as an actor and almost gave up, when he got on his knees in contrition.

“I worked here in New York City after college,” he told Sara Haines on The View.  “I was a location scout and that was how I made a decent living.”

Then he got his first acting job on MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch. “From that point, I always had a curiosity about what this would look like if it went further,” he said.

In pursuit of a hoped-for acting career he moved to L.A. where he worked for eight years attempting to make it as an actor. Like many struggling in his craft, he lived on the edge, working all kinds of side-jobs.

“I drove rideshare, I worked in catering and all these things that I’d never done before. And I got to the point where I was broke. I was out of money, and I was out of food. I was out of even government assistance for food. He had bills “as far as the eyes can see.”

A spirit of humility and repentance came upon Roumie. “The only thing I hadn’t done at that point was the thing that was left to do, which was to get on my knees and surrender my entire life and my career and everything that I had up to that point over to God, because there wasn’t anything I realized I could do on my own,” he said.

He had a nominal faith from his childhood, but at this instant something significant happened. “It really wasn’t until after that moment, almost six years ago now, where I just said, ‘Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.”

Jesus became even more than a Savior; Roumie also made him the Lord of his life and was born again. “I surrendered my will and my insistence on how things were going to be done my way and asked him to intervene and do things his way,” he told an Alpha leadership conference in 2022.

Whatever God decided with his future, Roumie would be content with that, he said.

Later that same day, something “incomprehensible” and miraculous happened. “I came back to my apartment that afternoon and there were four checks in the mail from all these disparate and somewhat mystical sources that allowed me to move forward, but now I was moving forward with him (God) driving my career and my will and my needs, as opposed to me trying to manage it all myself.”

“And then three months later I got called to do The Chosen.”

Playing Jesus as an actor is incredibly challenging. “Very often, I don’t feel worthy of playing Jesus,” he told the New York Times in 2023. “I struggle with that a lot. But I also acknowledge what God has done for my life as a result of playing Christ and how God has changed my life.”

The Chosen is the most successful crowdfunded TV series or film project in history, according to The Wall Street Journal.  By the end of 2023, more than 200 million had seen at least part of the show through the app and streaming platforms and it has been translated into as many as 600 languages, according to the show’s producers.



  1. I have heard that “The Chosen” is an evangelistic movie owned, operated by, and sold, by agents of the mormon church?

    • There is Mormon involvement in the production and distribution, but the content is overseen by evangelicals. LDS theology has not had any influence on the content of the series, to my knowledge.

  2. Jonathan is deceptive. He is a snake-in-the grass, and pushes new age and praying the rosary. In addition, “The Chosen” is not of the living God, regardless of the frenzy and fury of the “fans” defending and pushing it. Do your due diligence.

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