Luke 17:23

ESV And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them.
NIV People will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them.
NASB And they will say to you, ‘Look there,’ or, ‘Look here!’ Do not leave, and do not run after them.
CSB They will say to you, 'See there! ' or 'See here! ' Don't follow or run after them.
NLT People will tell you, ‘Look, there is the Son of Man,’ or ‘Here he is,’ but don’t go out and follow them.
KJV And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them.

What does Luke 17:23 mean?

Reading, understanding, and obeying this verse would prevent many, many people from joining cults. Jesus is talking to His disciples about how they need to be wise when His return seems delayed. His followers will ache for Him to return, but He will not come as soon as they wish (Luke 17:22). That desire will make them susceptible to false christs: antichrists.

Those sensitive to grammar will notice that in this part of our commentary, the term "christ" is not always capitalized. The word, itself, is a title derived from a Greek term. When referring to Jesus, the legitimate fulfillment of that word, He is indicated as the "capital-C-Christ." Those who claim the title, falsely, are not so marked.

Matthew 24:24 says that some false christs will be so convincing that even Christians would be confused. These deceivers will "perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect." Fortunately, it is not possible for believers to be led out of saving faith. Those who have put their faith in Jesus have the "Spirit of truth" (John 14:17) who is our seal of salvation (2 Corinthians 1:22; cf. Ephesians 1:13–14).

This verse says that people will tell others to "look here" to find a false christ. Matthew 24:26 says false christs will be in the wilderness or the inner room. Jesus' point is that people will claim a messiah figure is hidden and not obvious. Jesus promises that His return will not be subtle: "For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day" (Luke 17:24).

This text resembles Mark 13:21 and Matthew 24:23, although Mark's and Matthew's versions say, "do not believe it," and Luke's, "do not go out or follow them." In Luke 21:8, Jesus talks about the antichrists, themselves, claiming to be Jesus. These subtle differences suggest Jesus taught the same material on different occasions.
What is the Gospel?
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