Summary and Analysis Chapter 4

New Characters

Jesus of Nazareth: the unlikely preacher who may be the long-awaited Messiah, the savior of the Jewish people.

Summary

Simon arrives at Daniel’s doorstep on the morning of the Sabbath. Leah, terrified by the unexpected stranger, hides. In deference to her fear, Daniel steps outside to speak to Simon alone.

Simon invites Daniel to go to the synagogue with him. Daniel sees no point in going; he has not been in five years, but Simon insists. He wants Daniel to meet someone. Daniel is swayed by the fact that Simon is breaking Sabbath law by carrying a bundle on the holy day, work that is traditionally forbidden. If seeing this man at the synagogue is important enough to cause Simon to break his adherence to Jewish law, then Daniel reasons that he too should go.

The pair travel to the synagogue where it is rumored that Jesus will appear. Daniel tries to find out more about this man; he asks if Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth is proud to boast of such a powerful preacher. Simon tells him that this is far from the case; in fact, the leaders of Nazareth have accused Jesus of blasphemy and have tried to kill him. This information puzzles Daniel, and he is even more confused once he actually sees Jesus. He looks nothing like the important religious figures that Daniel knows. Jesus has the hard-working physique of a laborer; he is dressed plainly and in pure white.

As Simon tells him more about Jesus and how the man escaped the clutches of his foes, Daniel again becomes confused. The passive resistance of Jesus does not fit Daniel’s expectations of a rebel leader. Still, Daniel is moved by the quiet power of Jesus’ voice, a sound that “carried to every corner of the room.”

Daniel returns to the village and encounters some of the loathsome Roman soldiers. He prepares to hurl a rock and shouts, “Infidels!” Before Daniel can act, however, two men seize him and...

(The entire section is 605 words.)