An Unlikely Revolutionary

In about 1913 two politicians met at the Central Café in Vienna. They were discussing the likelihood of a Russian revolution. One looked across the room and said dismissively, “And who’s going to lead it – him?” The man to whom he referred was none other than Leon Trotsky. Renowned at the time for idleness, Trotsky would indeed lead a revolution that would change the course of history.

At the beginning of this Holy Week we remember another unlikely looking revolutionary, a carpenter-turned-preacher from the backwater that was Nazareth. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem with his motley crew of disciples, he looked an unlikely candidate to lead revolution that would change the course of history. The hopes of the crowd were high, but against the might of Rome what could he possibly hope to achieve?

But the sceptics were wrong – both about Trotsky and about Jesus. The difference between them was that whereas Trotsky’s revolution began with a denial of God, Jesus started with the assertion that he was God. Perhaps this explains why the upheaval that Trotsky initiated was ultimately short-lived, but the revolution that Jesus began continues to touch and change lives around the world.

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