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
darkness.'”

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,
Nick

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About Nick Gill

orphan-poet-adoptee-soldier-prodigal-servant-husband- counselor-desperate seeker after my Father's face "I feel my body weakened by the years as people turn to gods of cruel design. Is it that they fear the pain of death, or is it that they fear the joy of life?" - Toad the Wet Sprocket

Posted on 28 December, 2007, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. That’s right! We also have to remember that God doesn’t take vacations. We take vacations from Him…and that is when the enemy is at his strongest.

  2. Good one.

  3. I hope you had a great Christmas. We all had a good Christmas, we even received a Christmas potato. If you are not familiar with this tradition check the link on my blog.

  4. Nick, Keep letting God use you to inject his love through your blog.

  5. Loved the post, Nick. And I love keeping up with your blog.

  6. Thank you, everyone who has been stopping by. You really keep me going.I’ve really got a burr under my saddle about a current topic, but I’m going to try and sleep on it before I blog about it. Trust me, you’ll have an opinion. :)in HIS love,Nick

  7. I just saw I Am Legend, and I really enjoyed it. As I was watching, I kept thinking about this post. I did like that God was brought into the movie, even if it was just in a small fashion. Another thought on the movie was how it shows that man is not supposed to be alone. God did not leave the sun alone…he brought planets to circle it. God did not want Adam alone, so he created Eve. Jesus does not call us to spread the word of the Lord alone…he sent his disciples out in pairs.I did a posting on my blog about this issue today, and as I prepare for a lesson I have to lead in our Adult Sunday School next week, this was a great post, because my lesson is on friendship. So thanks for this post, Nick.On another note, what does Falantedios mean?

  8. Excellent post brother.I hope you have a great 2008.Keep up the great blogging brother.I am here and going to be reading. Love your blog and writtings.Over this past year your blog has challenged my faith and encouraged my relationship with God. Thanks brother. In Him,Kinney Mabry

  9. Great stuff. I liked that movie and that particular scene. I love hearing people talk about being a light, and how we are supposed to be a light. God has given us a purpose, a calling. God didn’t just do it all himself and let us just live life. We have a battle to fight and God…God has called us. How awesome is that!. Great blog.

  10. Thanks, JT!I know you are letting your light warm the hearts of men and women in Rochester. Pray for us in Frankfort, that our community might be blessed by the kingdom of God as well.in HIS love,Nick

  11. Stoned-Campbell Disciple

    Bob Marley was a hero. I first learned of his music in Jamaica itself in the summer of 1988. Great man …Bobby Valentine

  12. I ran across your blog and I must say that it is right on! I too LOVED how the Bob Marley story was recanted in “I Am Legend”. And I must say that Bob Marley’s words, as said in the movie, also echo within me. Very inspirational and very true. But even more beautiful is how it reminds us that God made us the light to “light up the darkness”.

  13. How can you say that Marley was in the “darkness?” Is it not true that lack of judgment is one of God’s teachings? He saw the world from a different point of view. Does that really make him so different from you? Obviously, his view point rang true in your beliefs. No matter what name you call God, he is the same idea. Just because it is your belief does not mean that it is “right” or 100% correct. That is the problem with this world today; everyone looks to the minute differences instead of our overwhelming similarities. Do not judge someone for what they believe and say that “even though he was in darkness.” The man influenced far more people than you can ever hope to, and probably spread a better message of love and understanding than your closed minded views.

  14. Dear Anonymous,Welcome to Fumbling Towards Eternity! I’m sorry that you find my thoughts or my expressions closed-minded. I assure you that the failure in communication is most likely mine, and I apologize.We differ strongly because I do not believe God is an idea. The creator God and father of Jesus Christ is a living being with emotions and actions and demands, someone far more powerful and active than an idea.I know that Bob Marley was in the darkness because he rejected the God who shows himself to mankind in the face of Jesus of Nazareth. I am sorry if such exclusivity strikes you as closed-minded. I can only imitate my master, the one who said, “I am the light of the world.”It is precisely because I have a deep and abiding respect for Bob Marley that I must speak the truth about him as I see it. He believed that violence and racism must be defied with music and love. I believe the same things, but follow a different King. I think that if you examine the teaching of Haile Selassie and the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth, you will discover more than “minute differences.” Go in peace, and may the God and Father of Jesus Christ bless you in your search for truth.Respectfully,Nick Gill

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