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Matthew 24:4-5 meaning

Jesus prefaces His response to the disciples’ three questions with a warning. He warned them to not be deceived by the many false Messiahs who would appear and lead many people astray.

The parallel gospel accounts of Matthew 24:4-5 are found in Mark 13:5-6, Luke 21:8.

Jesus first gives a warning to the disciples before answering their three questions regarding the destruction of the temple, His ascension to the Messianic throne, and the end of the age.

He warned them: See to it that no one misleads you (v 4). He wanted them to be on their guard. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ' (v 5). The world will see a lot of false Messiahs. And many people will be deceived and follow them. There will be much turmoil as these events approach and unfold and many people's situations will likely turn desperate.

These false Christs who come in Jesus's name will try to take advantage of the desperate times and prey upon people's hopes—including the hopes of those who desire to follow Jesus. In addition to these liars saying that they are the Messiah (I am the Christ), they will also say things like: "I am He" (a claim to be God) (Luke 21:8) or "The time is near" (Luke 21:8). These pretend-Jesuses will be very convincing and mislead many people. So much so that even some of the righteous will "fall away" and be misled (Matthew 24:10).

Jesus did not want His followers to be deceived. And so, He prefaced His answers to their questions by warning them to be vigilant and to see to it that they are not led astray by the many false messiahs who will come.

After this short preface, Jesus answered the last of the disciples' three questions—"What will be the sign of the end of the age?"—first.



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