Chapter 15 Summary and Analysis

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Daniel has decided that he must learn more about Jesus. He finds himself compelled to return again and again. He worries about the shop, but Simon urges him to hear the teacher. Daniel tells Leah all that he has heard. She is as hungry for the lessons and as eager to hear Jesus’s stories as her brother is.

Daniel is often hopeful when he is near Jesus, but it is hard to hold hope in his heart when he returns home. Leah, though, wants to hear the stories no matter what mood he is in; her favorite concerns a little girl. Daniel recounts the following story:

The only daughter of Jarius, a local religious leader, is dying. He turns to Jesus for help when it appears that no one and nothing can save her. When Jesus reaches their home, he is told that the child has died. It does not seem possible, but Jesus takes the little girl by the hand and raises her up.

Leah asks if women and children are present at the sermons; they are, and Daniel tells her that Jesus even listens to children as if they have something worth saying. Daniel attributes the change in his sister to Thacia’s friendship and ministrations. He assumes that the many small gifts Leah has received are from Thacia.

Daniel finds that his blacksmith skills extend beyond sheer brute labor. He creates a slender broach in the shape of a bow. Daniel wonders if Jesus might really be the one for whom the people have been waiting. Does Jesus have the will and the strength to “bend the bow of bronze”?

Analysis

The symbolism of the number three is repeated, for Daniel must walk “three miles” to find Jesus.

In contention again is Jesus’s way versus the Law. Jesus ranks earthly concerns a distant second to heavenly ones. He tells the story of the Good Samaritan, a man who disregards the Law regarding fraternization with the “unclean” in order to help a fellow human being. For Daniel, the problem of this parable has little to do with the Law but everything to do with his hatred. Jesus’s message of inclusion rankles Daniel; he cannot conceive of a world in which Jews and Samaritans are equal.

Another telling biblical allusion occurs in this chapter: a cock crows. The reference is to Jesus’s disciple Peter. Before Jesus is crucified, he predicts that Peter will deny him three times. Here, the crowing rooster most likely alludes to Christ’s time on earth drawing to a close, and soon Daniel will have to decide whom he will follow—Jesus or Rosh.

The ways of the messiah are further reinforced. Even when Jesus is weary, he tends to his flock’s spiritual and bodily needs. In the story of Jarius’s daughter, Jesus recognizes the need for bodily nourishment as well as that of the spirit. Immediately upon the girl’s “awakening,” Jesus tells the people to “give her something to eat.” Jesus also refuses pay for his work, which Daniel cannot understand, because he knows the masses clamor to be fed daily and this costs money. Jesus, however, trusts that God will provide.

Daniel is still maturing. He begins to open his heart to Jesus but does not yet understand Leah’s heart. He misinterprets the gifts she has accumulated and even her eager desire to see who is coming down the garden path. However, he is beginning to value himself more. After he creates the bronze broach, Daniel begins to think that his skills may not be limited to just fighting.

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Chapter 14 Summary and Analysis

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Chapter 16 Summary and Analysis