A friend of mine calls Marmite the devils poo. This sums up how I feel about Marmite, I really can’t stand it. I can’t stand the taste or the smell of it. The Marmite advertising is really spot because in my experience people do either love it or hate it. Marmite has such a strong flavour it compels us to have an opinion of it.
Is Jesus like Marmite? When he was on the Earth people seemed to be either drawn to him or they were against him. He taught thousands and was known as the friend of sinners but the religious rulers of the day hated him because his teaching was more popular than theirs. You could say that Jesus is very much like Marmite.
I remember watching a documentary about Jesus in which a very posh sounding academic said ‘Jesus never claimed to be God, they would have killed him if he had said something like that’. This was a really strange comment given that Jesus was executed. Jesus was very popular shortly before his death and he could have withdrawn somewhere remote and established his power base, but instead of seeking safety he chose to go to Jerusalem. Peter could see it was too dangerous to go there and he told Jesus so, but Jesus was determined. Jesus’ priority wasn’t his health, comfort and safety. His priority was to pursue the will of God his Father even when that made him unpopular or put him at risk. Thomas could see how dangerous it was to go to Jerusalem and he said to the other disciples ‘let us go, that we might die with him’. Sadly Thomas has been nicknamed doubting Thomas rather than loyal Thomas based on this moment, how sad are we Christians in the way we have given Thomas a negative rather than a positive label!
Are we like Marmite? What is our priority? Do we want to be popular or do we want to do God’s will? If we’re honest we probably want both but what about when we have to make a choice? Near the beginning of Acts it says that the first Christians enjoyed the favour of all the people but a few chapters later and those same Christians were being killed for their beliefs. They enjoyed the popularity while it was there but their commitment was to their Lord and Saviour Jesus. Following and living for him was more important than anything else even when it put their lives at risk.
If you are a Christian ask yourself this. When people meet me can they see something distinctive about me(just to be clear, I’m not talking about sandals and rainbow guitar straps)? Do people see Jesus in us or are we just trying to fit in?
Jesus is like Marmite, what about us?