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Summary and Analysis Chapter 8

Summary
Daniel is less physically strong than he had imagined. Nevertheless, he makes his way back to the cave, where Samson cares for him. Having now experienced real friendship with Joel and Malthace, Daniel waits anxiously for the next opportunity he will have to visit them again.

A mishap with Rosh’s knife gives Daniel reason to return. Rosh wants him to impose on Simon to repair the damaged instrument. Rosh argues that Simon ought to be glad to donate the materials to the cause.

Daniel finds that Simon has left his shop, having gone to follow Jesus. Daniel decides to go after him and leaves the symbol of the bow for Joel to find. Once together, the two boys try to locate Simon. They hear about Jesus’ miraculous healings. One woman is so filled with faith that she does not find it necessary to even inspect her son’s injury for proof of healing.

Simon greets them with “genuine pleasure” and ushers them inside for a meal. Daniel comes face to face with Jesus. Again, he is struck by the teacher’s luminous compassion. Joel and Daniel are surprised, however, that Jesus dismisses the women’s ritual cleansing of hands before eating.

Jesus ministers to both the body and the mind. After the meal, he repeats his message of tolerance and love. Jesus intends to include everyone in his grace, and this portion of his message troubles Joel greatly. Joel does not understand how people who are “unclean from the moment they are born” could be considered children of God. Jesus’ message of complete inclusion convinces Joel that the man “is not a true Rabbi.”

Analysis
The true nature of Rosh continues to be developed. The incident with the knife allows Daniel to understand how Rosh’s moral relativism threatens innocent people. Not only are the rich and the Romans being asked to “sacrifice” but so too are the poor. Moreover, Daniel is beginning to comprehend Rosh’s lack of caring in any form. Daniel is commanded to take advantage of his friend Simon; he is sent on yet another of Rosh’s missions without money or food. Though he has not yet consciously voiced these concerns, the distinction between Rosh and Jesus as leaders is becoming ever more apparent.

Challenges to the traditional roles of women also continue. Jesus does not discriminate, calling the women...

(The entire section is 598 words.)