What does Matthew 24:4 mean?
ESV: And Jesus answered them, "See that no one leads you astray.
NIV: Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you.
NASB: And Jesus answered and said to them, 'See to it that no one misleads you.
CSB: Jesus replied to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you.
NLT: Jesus told them, 'Don’t let anyone mislead you,
KJV: And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
NKJV: And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
Verse Commentary:
Jesus begins to answer a two-part question from the disciples. They have heard His declarations about the coming judgment on Jerusalem, as well as His statement that He will leave and return. They have asked Jesus when this judgment will come and what the sign of His return will be.

The first response is a warning to the disciples to watch themselves, so they are not deceived. He tells them to make sure nobody leads them astray, referring to the time when He will be absent from them. He will warn in the following verse about deceivers who will pretend to be the Christ. He wants them to be clear that He alone is the Messiah.

This begins the main portion of the so-called Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:3), which will extend uninterrupted until the end of chapter 25 (Matthew 25:46).
Verse Context:
Matthew 24:1–14 follows Jesus and the disciples out of the temple. This comes after His devastating criticism of the scribes and Pharisees in chapter 23. Christ predicts a moment when the temple will be destroyed without one stone left on another. Later, His disciples ask for more information about these future events. Jesus describes a season in which the world will be in turmoil but that alone will not be proof that the end has come. His disciples will be persecuted, killed, and hated for His name's sake. False prophets will rise and some with them will fall away from the faith.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus makes a dire prediction about the destruction of the temple. Immediately after this, while seated on the Mount of Olives, Jesus responds to a question from the disciples. They ask when judgment will come and what signs will signal His return. Christ describes a season of unimaginable world turmoil and persecution. He points to a specific moment of defilement of the temple, at which point people should run for their lives. Jesus speaks of world-threatening tribulation which will be cut short right before He returns as King and Judge. Since nobody can possibly know when He will return, His followers must live in readiness.
Chapter Context:
Jesus has just left the temple area, after delivering a blistering criticism of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23). After predicting that the temple would be destroyed, He answers their questions about the end times. He speaks of a period when He will be gone from earth and they will be persecuted and killed. The world will be in turmoil, but the gospel will be preached everywhere. Nobody knows exactly when Jesus' return will be completed, so his followers should constantly be prepared. Jesus continues to teach on these themes in the next chapter.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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