‘I’ve Never Experienced God Like That’—’The Chosen’ Actor Goes from Doubting God to Incredible Encounters

The Chosen, a highly acclaimed television series, has garnered an impressive global viewership of over 458 million as of January 2023. Furthermore, as of Wednesday, June 28, 2023, The Chosen has secured its position as the number one most popular TV show on VidAngel, solidifying its immense popularity.

In this widely embraced series, actor Nick Shakoour assumes the role of Zebedee, the father of disciples James and John. Shakoour recently opened up about the profound transformation he experienced while working on the show, shifting from doubting the existence of God to embracing numerous encounters in the divine presence.

During an interview with Ashley Key on the 700 Club, Shakoour shared that his portrayal of Zebedee provided him with insights into fatherhood, despite not having children of his own. He also recounted his upbringing in the Greek Orthodox Church in Beirut, Lebanon, where his grandfather served as a Greek priest.

With no firsthand experience as a father or a deep understanding of God, Shakoour initially felt ill-prepared to accurately depict Zebedee. However, he expressed that the role was divinely bestowed upon him, stating, “The role was ‘downloaded to me from God’.”

Underlying Shakoour’s personal revelations lies his background within the Greek Orthodox Church and the lasting burdens his family carried from their time in the war-torn country of Beirut, Lebanon. Reflecting on the hardships he faced, Shakoour explained, “Life takes you through a series of challenges and trials, causing your heart to turn into a rock, leading to an inner battle.”

Shakoour then revealed his initial skepticism about God’s existence when he joined the cast of The Chosen. However, he described a transformative experience where he felt a deep void opening within him, compelling him to cry out to God. Despite his reservations, Shakoour attended a conference at the invitation of two set designers from the show. The conference featured individuals engaging in unusual movements, which puzzled him.

During the conference, Shakoour fervently prayed for the removal of the generational burdens that had plagued his family for years. Astonishingly, within 20 minutes, he claimed that the burden vanished, and a fellow attendee informed him that they had been praying for him. This person conveyed a message from God, stating, “By showing up tonight, you broke your family’s generational curse.”

Throughout the interview, Shakoour became visibly emotional as he shared these profound encounters with God. He recounted a significant moment when he renounced all his idols and received an anointing from nine individuals who laid hands on him while anointing him with oil. This experience overwhelmed Shakoour, as he vividly recalled feeling God’s presence, instilling a sense of fear and reverence within him.

Describing the transformative process, Shakoour revealed, “From the bottom of my feet to the top of my head, it was like fire was passing through and burning everything that I had in me away.” Consequently, he no longer felt like his former self, and since then, he has continued to have one encounter with God after another.

Another remarkable revelation came to light during Shakoour’s conversation with a set construction worker, who reminded him that Scripture verses were inscribed on the walls of the set houses during their construction. Curiously, the worker revealed that this practice began in Zebedee’s home, symbolizing a significant connection between Shakoour’s own life and the portrayal of Zebedee.

Overwhelmed by his personal encounters and newfound spiritual connection to God’s work through the character of Zebedee, Shakoour expressed his gratitude and awe.