4 Reasons Why Matthew Is So Strange In The Chosen

by Barbara

“The Chosen” has emerged as a groundbreaking TV series, bringing the life of Jesus Christ and his disciples into contemporary relevance with an innovative and humanizing approach. Among the show’s vivid characters, Matthew, portrayed by actor Paras Patel, stands out due to his distinctive behavior and characteristics. This portrayal raises the question: Why is Matthew so odd in “The Chosen”? This article delves into the multifaceted reasons behind this unique characterization, examining the scriptural basis, historical context, creative choices, and the impact of his portrayal on the narrative.

Scriptural Foundation and Historical Context

Matthew in the Gospels

In the New Testament, Matthew, also known as Levi, is depicted as a tax collector before his calling by Jesus to become one of the twelve apostles. Tax collectors were often viewed with disdain by the Jewish populace due to their association with the Roman authorities and their reputation for corruption. This background sets Matthew apart from the other apostles, who primarily come from more traditional Jewish vocations like fishing.


Historical Perception of Tax Collectors

Understanding the historical perception of tax collectors during Jesus’ time provides insight into Matthew’s character. Tax collectors were considered traitors to their people, collaborating with the occupying Roman forces. This societal outcast status would naturally make Matthew an unconventional figure among Jesus’ followers. The tension between his past life and his new calling contributes to his unique personality and social interactions.


Creative Choices in “The Chosen”

Autism Spectrum Portrayal

One of the most distinctive aspects of Matthew’s character in “The Chosen” is his portrayal as being on the autism spectrum. This creative decision is not explicitly stated in the Gospels but serves several narrative purposes.


Humanizing Matthew: Portraying Matthew with characteristics associated with autism, such as meticulousness, social awkwardness, and heightened intelligence, adds depth to his character. It makes him relatable to modern audiences, particularly those who see aspects of themselves or their loved ones in him.

Contrasting Personalities: Matthew’s unique traits provide a stark contrast to the other disciples, highlighting the diversity among Jesus’ followers. This diversity underscores the inclusive nature of Jesus’ ministry, emphasizing that everyone, regardless of their background or differences, has a place in His mission.

Narrative Tension and Growth: Matthew’s oddities create opportunities for conflict and growth within the group. His interactions with other disciples often start with misunderstanding and prejudice but evolve into acceptance and friendship, reflecting the transformative power of Jesus’ teachings.

Actor’s Interpretation

Paras Patel’s portrayal of Matthew brings a nuanced and empathetic touch to the character. Patel’s performance captures Matthew’s vulnerabilities and strengths, making his oddities both endearing and significant to his journey.

Facial Expressions and Body Language: Patel uses subtle facial expressions and body language to convey Matthew’s inner world. His meticulous movements and often hesitant social interactions paint a vivid picture of someone who sees the world differently.

Speech Patterns: The actor’s choice of speech patterns, often deliberate and precise, further distinguishes Matthew from the other characters. This difference in communication style emphasizes his analytical nature and his struggle to connect with others on an emotional level.

Impact on the Narrative

A Fresh Perspective

Matthew’s characterization offers a fresh perspective on the familiar biblical stories. His analytical mind and attention to detail provide unique insights into events and teachings, enriching the narrative.

Recording Details: As a tax collector, Matthew’s skill in record-keeping is highlighted. This trait is cleverly used in “The Chosen” to suggest how he might have meticulously documented Jesus’ teachings and actions, contributing to the Gospel attributed to him.

Questioning and Understanding: Matthew’s inquisitive nature leads him to ask questions that other characters might not consider. This trait allows the series to explore theological and philosophical concepts in a way that is accessible to the audience.

Symbolism and Themes

Matthew’s oddities serve as a symbolic representation of broader themes within “The Chosen”.

Redemption and Transformation: Matthew’s journey from a despised tax collector to a devoted disciple epitomizes the theme of redemption. His transformation is a testament to the idea that no one is beyond the reach of Jesus’ love and grace.

Inclusivity and Acceptance: By portraying Matthew as someone who struggles with social norms, “The Chosen” emphasizes the inclusivity of Jesus’ message. The acceptance Matthew finds among Jesus and the other disciples highlights the show’s overarching theme of unconditional love and acceptance.

Viewer Reception and Cultural Impact

Audience Connection

Matthew’s unique portrayal has resonated deeply with audiences. Many viewers have praised the show for its sensitive and respectful depiction of a character who might be on the autism spectrum.

Representation: For viewers on the autism spectrum or those who have loved ones with autism, seeing a character like Matthew on screen is profoundly validating. It provides representation in a context where such characters are rarely seen, especially in historical and religious narratives.

Empathy and Understanding: The portrayal fosters empathy and understanding among viewers who may not have personal experience with autism. By presenting Matthew’s perspective, the show encourages a broader acceptance of neurodiversity.

Cultural Conversations

Matthew’s character has sparked cultural conversations about representation and inclusivity in media. His depiction in “The Chosen” is seen as a positive step towards more diverse and inclusive storytelling in television.

Breaking Stereotypes: By avoiding stereotypical depictions of autism and instead presenting a well-rounded, multifaceted character, “The Chosen” challenges and expands the media landscape’s portrayal of neurodiversity.

Religious and Historical Storytelling: The show’s innovative approach to a well-known religious figure opens the door for similar re-imaginings of other historical and religious characters, promoting a more inclusive understanding of the past.


Matthew’s oddities in “The Chosen” are a result of a careful and thoughtful blend of scriptural interpretation, historical context, and creative storytelling. By portraying him with characteristics associated with autism, the show humanizes a figure often overlooked in traditional biblical narratives and provides a fresh, inclusive perspective on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

This characterization not only enriches the narrative of “The Chosen” but also resonates deeply with modern audiences, fostering empathy, understanding, and a broader acceptance of neurodiversity. As the series continues to unfold, Matthew’s journey promises to remain a poignant and powerful element of the story, reflecting the transformative power of love, acceptance, and redemption.

Related topics:

Did Windu Believe He Was The Chosen One?

The Best Actress Who Plays Mary Magdalene In The Chosen

12 Disciples In The Chosen


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