The third season of his National Geographic show is filming in Bethlehem, Megiddo and Jerusalem.
Each episode of Freeman’s The Story of God explores a different aspect of the divine, and has taken the actor to sites in Italy, Nepal, Turkey, France, Ethiopia and more. Freeman said in the intro of their latest episode, titled “Gods Among Us”:
“There is one role that follows me wherever I go, you can say it’s omnipresent. It’s having played God,” says Freeman, referring to 2003 portrayal of God in the hit film Bruce Almighty, a role he reprised in Evan Almighty. “I think what resonates with people is that God would appear among us, but not with some angelic halo, more as an ordinary person, a janitor, a carpenter.”
In Israel, Freeman’s search for God began in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, a fitting place to study the human embodiment of God, as it is believed to be the place where Jesus was born. Freeman admits, however, that seeing the probable birthplace of Christ is not enough. He told the Jerusalem Post:
“I’m eager to understand,” he said, “when Jesus the preacher, Jesus the rabbi, came to be seen as Divine Jesus.”
With this in mind, Freeman made his way 140 km (87 miles) north to Tel Megiddo, to a site that is believed to be the oldest Christian church in the world. It was discovered in 2005, when the high-security Megiddo Prison broke ground on an expansion project. Since the archaeological site is on the prison grounds, Freeman is accompanied by an armed escort.
At the site, he met with Dr. Yonatan Moss, who explained that the age of the church suggests early Christians were aware of the divinity of Christ. A mosaic set into the ancient floor of the church reads, “This table was dedicated to the God Jesus Christ.”
The third season’s first episode, titled “Search for the Devil,” brought Freeman to a monastery outside Jericho near the biblical location of Jesus’ 40 days and nights spent in the desert, where he was tempted by Satan.
“It seems to me, we yearn for God to walk among us because we need a living example of what it means to be divine,” Freeman says at the close of the second episode. “A God in human form can show us the way through hard times, help us make tough choices, show us how to love and respect one another, when it seems the hardest thing to do. Just because we’re mortal, doesn’t mean we can’t strive to live as God would.”
The Story of God with Morgan Freeman will air in the US on the National Geographic channel on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. In Israel, the show’s third season will premiere April 21 on National Geographic and air Sundays at 10:50 p.m.
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