Summary Of John Alfred Yoer Chapter 4

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James Kruszynski What makes the jubilee that Jesus preached so discomforting for Americans to hear? John Howard Yoder writes in Chapter 3 of his book “The Politics of Jesus,” that Jesus proclaimed a Jubilee year as a celebration of God’s power and glory. This Jubilee year included emancipation for the Israelites and social justice for those who were in need. Much to the dismay of many Americans, Yoder sees Jesus as intent on making the goods of the earth as common property for all people. No longer will there be the “haves” and the “have not’s.” Yoder identifies references throughout Jesus’ ministry to the four elements of the Jubilee that can help us to live our lives as true Christians: the fallow year; the remission of debts; the liberation of slaves; and the return of family property. 1. The fallow year. Jesus’ words in Luke 12:29-31 are mentioned in reference to the worries people have when they trust God to let their land go uncultivated. The Jewish people had to have a lot of courage to trust God to give them what they needed to…show more content…
The redistribution of wealth. This Jubilee element is highlighted in Jesus’ command in Luke 1:30-33 to His disciples to sell their goods and to give alms. This is a difficult command. Americans today would consider this redistribution to be socialism at best and communism at worst. Luke 1:29-31 tells us not to worry about what we need. Jesus says, “Sell all your belongings and give the money to the poor. (Luke 12:33)” Many Americans would deny that this applies to them; most likely this is a perfect state for a priest or a nun. Donating to a charity is enough to do. It is interesting to note that the Pharisees believed this did not apply to them, either. Jesus, however, saw things differently, saying “How terrible for you Pharisees! You give God a tenth of everything, even the seasoning herbs like mint and rue by you neglect justice and love for God. These you should be practicing without neglecting the others. (Luke

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