What do you think Jesus means by the words he spoke in the synagogue in Chapter 4 of The Bronze Bow?  

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Jesus speaks in the synagogue, he says that "the kingdom of God is at hand".  Although many in the crowd assume that he is talking about a kingdom for the Jewish people released from the oppression of Roman rule, in reality he is speaking of a kingdom which is not of this world.  Jesus says,

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord...the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent, and believe".

The people have lived under Roman dominion for a long time, and are anxiously awaiting the Messiah, whom they believe will lead them in an uprising against the Romans.  When Jesus speaks of "liberty for the oppressed", they are confused when he doesn't take the idea further, calling them to arms against the occupying hordes.  Jesus, however, is talking about heaven, and a whole new way of life that will lead to the kingdom.  The release of which he speaks is an inner release of the soul, a change of attitude and a new way of living that will free the spirit from the bondage of sin (Chapter 4).

Daniel's father was crucified by the Romans for leading an attack with the objective of freeing Daniel's uncle, who was being taken away to work in the quarries to pay off a tax debt.  Daniel's mother died of exposure after the execution of her husband, and Daniel's sister Leah, who secretly witnessed the crucifixion, was severely traumatized, and became an agoraphobic (Chapter 7).