NO ONE IS BEYOND JESUS GAZE... BBC Radio 2 Pause For Thought 22.3.16


Strange Ways

Strange way to start a revolution 

Strange way to get a better tan 

Strange way to hold a power breakfast

Strange way show your business plan

Strange way to see if wood would splinter

Strange way to do performance art

Strange way to say I'll see you later

Strange way to leave behind your heart


Strange dissident of meekness

And nurse of tangled souls

And so unlike the holy

To end up full of holes

Strange way


Songwriter Martyn Joseph has a song called Strange Way. It is indeed a strange lyric about power breakfasts and performance art and business plans but if you listen closely enough it is actually a song about Holy Week, the week Christians remember Jesus dying on a cross. Dying on a cross concludes Martyn “is a strange way to start a revolution.”

Holy Week actually begins in a more revolutionary scene. Jesus Jesus has been travelling from his home in Galilee up for the Passover festival in Jerusalem. As he arrives in Jerusalem the crowds of his followers, that have been growing on the journey, hail him as King, laying symbolic Palm branches across his path and singing about glory and peace. 

For many this is going according to plan and many believe he is about to overthrow the Romans and set Israel free from their oppression. This is the way of revolution.

BUT as the week goes on, things turn strange. Jesus doesn’t charge the palaces in a coup d’etat but instead ends up 

The revolution ends with Jesus hanging on a cross. A strange way to conquer the world indeed.

Yet, this is the God way. The apostle Paul put it well in his writings (Philippians 2) when he described Jesus… 


“being in very nature[a] God,

    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing

    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,

    being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,

    he humbled himself

    by becoming obedient to death—

        even death on a cross!”


So Christians believe Jesus is the king they hailed on palm Sunday. But this is a very different kind of King. This is a King who humbles himself to serve others. It is a strange way to do revolution but it what Jesus went on about all along. 


Blessed are the meek, 

Go the extra mile, 

Turn the other cheek, 

The first shall be last and the last shall be first. 


The events of Holy week are indeed a strange way to start a revolution but this is an upside down revolution that brings hope and peace and love into a world where everybody else wants to rule in power. 

This strange way is the most revolutionary way of all…


This is a strange Gospel, Jesus

This is a completely opposite paradigm to the one we are conditioned to

This is a world that flies in the face of all we know

The poor get the Kingdom of heaven

The last are first

The enemies are loved

The religious are sent away unsatisfied

The prostitute is forgiven

The meek inherit the earth

Those who lose their lives find life

The Lord serves the peasant

The King gives up his life

This is a completely opposite paradigm to the one we are conditioned to

This is a world that flies in the face of all we know

This is a strange Gospel, Jesus

And you call us to follow you.



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