Hospitality and Jubilee

Hospitality and Jubilee December 20, 2010

Perrin again: He argues that Jesus announced and envisioned a Jubilee, not a spiritualized Jubilee but an actual restoration of property, tangible property, to the dispossessed poor. One mechanism, Perrin argues, was hospitality:

“Jesus enjoins a collective but voluntary trickle-down or resources. Nor would this have necessarily been a small trickle. In a subsistence economy where surplus was unheard-of and the vast majority of the poor householder’s income was expended on food, any plan of providing meals to the poor on a regular basis would have made it possible, at least in theory, for these same poor to accrue savings. And where you have accrued savings, there you also have the one thing that the poor lacked: capital. And where there is capital, there is the possibility of economic freedom and reinvestiture within Israel. If this was indeed the final design of Jesus’ teaching, then the goal was no haphazard or patronizing benevolence, but economic liberation on a local scale. Judges by the practices of early Christianity, it seems that this is exactly how Jesus’ first followers thought of these things.”

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