What does Mark 13:22 mean?
ESV: For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
NIV: For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
NASB: for false christs and false prophets will arise, and will provide signs and wonders, in order to mislead, if possible, the elect.
CSB: For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and will perform signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
NLT: For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.
KJV: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
NKJV: For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Verse Commentary:
This verse applies to just about every moment from Jesus' ascension until the day Jesus returns. Simon bar Kokhba, who died in AD 135, was thought by his followers to be the Jewish Messiah. Sun Myung Moon claimed to be the Messiah and fooled millions of members of his Unification Church. Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda of Growing in Grace International claimed to be both Jesus and the Antichrist. Jim Jones said he was Gandhi, Buddha, Vladimir Lenin, and Jesus reincarnated, and over nine hundred people believed him enough to poison themselves.

The last part of this verse has been misinterpreted to say that false teachers will convince Christians that they are Jesus, and the Christians will lose their salvation. What the verse actually means is that these false Christs will be so convincing that believers would be deceived if not for the truth Jesus places in their hearts.

A believer may be deceived in some aspects of theology, and indeed, no one on earth can know God fully, but believers will never be deceived regarding the essential tenets of their salvation. Jesus will not dismiss us (John 6:37). Jesus will "sustain us to the end" (1 Corinthians 1:8). We will be "kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23). In matters of salvation, Christians will not follow the voice of another (John 10:5). True believers won't follow a person who "pretends" to be Jesus.

In the end times, the Antichrist will sit in the temple and claim to be God. Now, the Holy Spirit restrains such strong displays of blasphemy (2 Thessalonians 2:6–7), but during the tribulation, the Holy Spirit will confuse the minds of those who reject Jesus and follow the Antichrist so that they do believe the Antichrist is God (2 Thessalonians 2:1–12). For those of us who understand this now, our work is to teach others the truth about Christ so they can discern truth from deception (Mark 13:23).
Verse Context:
Mark 13:14–23 describes Peter, James, John, and Andrew asking Jesus for the signs that the temple will be destroyed and He will return to establish His kingdom (Matthew 24:3). Jesus has explained that wars, natural disasters, false teaching, and persecution will increase (Mark 13:5–13). Now He speaks of the second half of the end-times tribulation. It will start with the Antichrist erecting the abomination of desolation in the temple and end right before war and natural and supernatural disasters would cause worldwide extinction. Matthew talks a bit more about false prophets in Matthew 24:15–28 while Luke gives a shortened version in Luke 21:20–24.
Chapter Summary:
Days before the crucifixion, the disciples praise the glory of the temple. When Jesus tells them the temple will be destroyed, they ask for signs of that coming destruction and of His return (Matthew 24:3). Jesus answers their second question with information crucial for believers in the end times, and any time. Tribulation Christians will face horrifying hardships and violence, as may believers of any era, but they must remember that the hardships will not last. Jesus will return so quickly, any attempt to live by the world's rules will be futile.
Chapter Context:
The prior chapter contained several parables and Jesus' answer to assorted questions. In this section, Jesus turns His teaching towards the disciples. He explains concepts related to the end times: the still-future period when God will complete His plan for judgment on sin. Those details include a prophecy about the impending destruction of the temple. The final chapters of Mark then describe events up to and after the crucifixion of Jesus at the hands of His enemies.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 6/22/2024 6:16:16 PM
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