Jesus and the Legend of Bob Marley
The story goes, as recounted by Dr. Robert Neville in I Am Legend, that Bob Marley had an infectious dream. He saw evil in the world and believed that with enough injections of music and love, that evil could be defeated. People believed that his dream ran into a roadblock two nights before a huge festival that would give Marley’s dream of peace and love and music a worldwide platform. A man came to Marley’s home and shot him. One history article describes it thus:
In December 1976, two days before “Smile Jamaica“, a free concert organized by the Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley in an attempt to ease tension between two warring political groups, Marley, his wife, and manager Don Taylor were wounded in an assault by unknown gunmen inside Marley’s home. Taylor and Marley’s wife sustained serious injuries, but later made full recoveries. Bob Marley received only minor injuries in the chest and arm. The shooting was thought to have been politically motivated, as many felt the concert was really a support rally for Manley. Nonetheless, the concert proceeded, and an injured Marley performed as scheduled.
In I Am Legend, Dr. Neville tells the story like this.
“He had this idea. It was kind of a virologist idea. He believed that you
could cure racism and hate… literally cure it, by injecting music and love
into people’s lives. When he was scheduled to perform at a peace rally, a gunman
came to his house and shot him down. Two days later he walked out on that stage
and sang. When they asked him why – He said, ‘The people, who were trying to
make this world worse… are not taking a day off. How can I? Light up the
Even from the darkness, Bob Marley understood more of the gospel than he might realize. Was he wrong about many things? Certainly, and I would not begin to defend much of Rastafarian spirituality. But the kingdom of God is nothing less than God injecting His Own love and beauty into a world gone mad.
And when the world around me looks its darkest, I can let those words from the movie echo in my ears:
The people trying to make this world worse are not taking a day off! How can I? Light up the darkness!
To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. – Luke 6
You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. – Matt 5
in HIS love,