The actor who plays "Little James" in the hit series The Chosen says his character has inspired countless people in the disabled community and has also sparked a conversation among Christians over the role of healing.
Jordan Walker Ross, who portrays Little James (James, son of Alphaeus) in the series, told Christian Headlines that he receives mail and messages on a daily basis from individuals in the disabled community thanking him for his role in the show.
Ross himself has scoliosis, minor cerebral palsy and a limp. His character, Little James, is depicted as having a limp that sometimes requires him to use a walking stick.
This weekend, a theatrical movie that includes the final two episodes of Season 3 debuts at the box office. It's simply called The Chosen Season 3 Finale.
"It's been such a blessing to interact with people from that community, in particular, because the relationship between faith and healing is such a complicated one," Ross told Christian Headlines. "And there are a lot of well-meaning Christians that are kind of the mindset that you just gotta pray hard enough or believe enough or ask God for healing. And I think that there are a lot of Christians that are disabled their whole life or that have a chronic illness their whole life, and their faith is just as strong if not stronger than a lot of other people."
The prominence of Ross' role increased this season thanks to a lengthy scene in which Little James asks Jesus why he (Little James) is being asked to heal others when he himself has not been healed. The scene was posted on social media and went viral.
Every now and then, "people run up and hug me," Ross said.
"I love that they feel like they know all of us on the show," Ross said. "But with Little James, I have a lot of people comment on the fact that they felt the same way that he has. And they've asked, 'why me?' or 'why not me?' – and felt unworthy or felt like they didn't have a purpose. It's kind of [like] Little James' struggle. While for him, it's a physical disability, and for myself as well, it's still a universal feeling of not being good enough. And it's been amazing to have interactions with fans that have connected to it."
Ross said he gets "messages every day from people" who have disabilities.
"I'm just so grateful that The Chosen was willing to go there and to talk about that because it's observable [that] not every Christian gets healed physically. But it's the hope of healing eventually and using our circumstances for good because we can't always change our circumstances."
The Angel Studios series can be streamed, for free, on The Chosen app or the Angel Studios app.
Photo courtesy: ©The Chosen, used with permission.
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.