In the overwhelmingly popular series, “The Chosen,” Nick Shakoour plays the role of Zebedee—father to disciples James and John. The actor recently told of being transformed on the set of the series, going from doubting that God even existed to embracing a number of encounters in the presence of God.
In a 700 Club interview with Ashley Key, Shakoour shared that the role gave him insight into being a father, as the actor doesn’t have children of his own. He also told of his upbringing within the Greek Orthodox Church in Beirut, Lebanon. Shakoour’s grandfather was a Greek priest.
Without experience as a father or of God himself, Shakoour found himself ill-equipped to portray Zebedee with accuracy. The role was “downloaded to me from God,” Shakoour said.
Nick Shakoour of ‘The Chosen’ Shares His Own Encounters With God
Shakoour briefly told of his upbringing in the Greek Orthodox Church. What’s more, being from Beirut, Lebanon, his family held onto burdens for generations in the “war-torn country.”
“As life does, it takes you through a series of challenges and trials, and it causes your heart to start to turn into a rock. And, you start to experience an inner battle,” the actor explained.
Shakoour continued, “When I first signed up to do ‘The Chosen,’ I had a conversation with God, and I told him, ‘You probably don’t even exist.'”
Shakoour described feeling like a black hole within him was opening up. He felt a strong urge to call out to God. Two set designers on the show invited him to a conference, and Shakoour was beyond skeptical. He didn’t quite know what to think when he saw people “twirling around like ballerinas and swinging side-to-side.”
During the conference, he prayed for God to remove the burden that had been passed down from generations within his family. Within 20 minutes, he said, the burden was gone, and someone within the group told Shakoour that he was praying for him. “God told me to tell you that by showing up tonight, you broke your family’s generational curse,” the friend said.
Throughout the interview, Shakoour became emotional when telling of his transforming encounters with God.
When he was led to give up all of his idols, nine people laid hands on Shakoour, and anointed him with oil. “I felt God’s presence, and it was frightening. So I understood what it meant to have the fear of the Lord,” he recalled.
He continued, “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.”
“I didn’t feel like myself anymore. And since then, it’s been one encounter after the next,” Shakoour said.