Why is Daniel still unable to believe that Jesus is the Messiah in The Bronze Bow?

In The Bronze Bow, Daniel has difficulty accepting Jesus as the Messiah because Daniel is looking for a Messiah who will drive the Romans out of Israel by violence. Jesus is not that kind of Messiah, and Daniel cannot accept Jesus for Who He is until Jesus heals both Leah and Daniel himself.

Expert Answers

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In Elizabeth George Speare's The Bronze Bow, Daniel has a particular idea of who the Messiah will be and what he will do. Daniel is one of the Zealots, a group of Jews who vows to resist Roman rule to the death. He even joins a group of radical Zealots led by Rosh that lives in the mountains and raids the Romans—and others—at any opportunity.

Daniel, then, is expecting a Messiah who will be just like him. He wants a Messiah who will lead the Jews to stand up against and defeat the Romans, finally driving them from Israel once and for all. Daniel, in other words, creates a Messiah in his own image rather than being willing to accept the Messiah that God actually sends.

Therefore, Daniel has a difficult time accepting Jesus as the Messiah sent by God. Jesus has no plans to drive out the Romans by violence or by any other method. In fact, He calls His followers to love the Romans, something Daniel cannot even fathom. Even after Daniel witnesses Jesus's miracles, hears His teaching, and even finds himself attracted to Jesus's way, Daniel still resists. He wants to hold onto his grudge against the Romans and his determination to overthrow them.

Of course, Daniel thinks he has an understandable reason for his hatred of the Romans. They were, after all, responsible for his parents' deaths. But Jesus challenges Daniel's desire for revenge. He makes Daniel look at things in a new way, and this is difficult.

Only after Jesus heals Leah—and, in a completely different way, Daniel himself—can Daniel begin to accept Jesus as the Messiah sent by God, a Messiah he wasn't expecting but the right Messiah for God's plan of salvation.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
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