Have you ever spread Marmite on toast? It's a British condiment made from yeast left over from beer brewing. It is dark, thick, and sticky, like a savory molasses. Marmite is hailed as the superhero of sandwich spreads because it’s bursting with vitamin B. Over the past century, it has come to the rescue of soldiers in the trenches of WWI, anemic mill workers in India, and malaria sufferers in Sri Lanka. But Marmite's flavor is so powerful that it is polarizing, winning as many friends as foes. This little jar of food paste has inspired some strong opinions. For years, the company's slogan was "Marmite: Love it or Hate it."
The birth of Jesus has a Marmite effect, inspiring equally passionate, polar responses. In a sense, the gospel's catchphrase could be: "Jesus: Love him or Hate him." This contrast is evident when we consider the opposite reactions of the wise men and Herod to the Messiah’s birth in Matthew's gospel.