Summary and Analysis Chapter 23
Leah completely withdraws from life. Daniel, “in a torment of remorse,” tries to do everything around the house. Leah refuses to eat much. Daniel pleads with her, but she is far-gone, her eyes “like empty windows.”
Just when things seem most dark, Daniel recalls all the people Jesus has healed, all the demons Jesus has cast out. Daniel remembers how Jesus had relieved the burden of his guilt about Samson and Nathan. He decides that he will beg him to heal Leah.
But when he finds Jesus, Daniel has his faith tested again. Simon tells him he unequivocally believes Jesus to be the Messiah, but that Jesus would never lead an army against Rome. If Jesus refuses to act for freedom, Daniel wonders, why would Simon stay with him? Simon explains that with Jesus, you do not need to worry about earthly powers or concerns. Simon reminds Daniel of Jesus’ love, care, healing, and nurturing of the people. “I know now with a God like that I am safe,” Simon says.
But Daniel is unconvinced and struggles to give up his vow to fight for freedom. He has to make the proverbial leap of faith. He must “choose without knowing.”
Daniel longs for the comfort he has experienced with Jesus. He comes to the apex of his moral and spiritual crisis. There is not much more Jesus can teach him. Daniel has witnessed the power of love on both a large and on a personal scale. But Jesus requires that those who choose him let go of not only earthly possessions but also earthly allegiances, whether those ties be to another “leader” like Rosh or to any emotions other than love and acceptance.
Daniel leaves with the weight of the choice heavy on his heart and mind.