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Fathers and Householders in the Jesus Movement: The Perspective of the Gospel of Luke

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The Jesus' movement has in Luke a structural relation with the households. The relation between household and discipleship is dialectical, because it assigns external and internal roles to those that belong to both social forms. The itinerant followers of Jesus seem to belong to an emerging middle generation in their households, and have some experience in choosing to adhere to voluntary associations. Most (both married and unmarried, both men and women) belong to the households of their fathers. Some are themselves householders, who can freely dispose of their property, and who have an important function in their own household. This creates strong conflicts between the followers and the other members of the household because of the function they fulfilled before their becoming part of the movement. On the other hand, Jesus and his movement depend on the household structure. The householders offer Jesus' movement the required support through hospitality. Furthermore, Luke's Jesus denounces the mechanism of exchange between householders that excludes all social classes that have no chance whatsoever of entering into it and cannot benefit from the mechanisms of patronage. Jesus asks the householders to open their homes and offer a different kind of hospitality without reciprocity and social compensation. The double challenge to the itinerant followers and to the householders differentiates the kind of participation of individuals to Jesus movement, and put all of them into a close interrelation within which the model of discipleship tends to transform the model of the household.


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