Matthew 24:23 (ESV)
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.”
Mike Rowe, star of the reality show, “Dirty Jobs,” was recently shocked to find out someone else was doing a dirty job of his own. That may not be so shocking, since many of us do dirty jobs. The shock to Rowe was that the person looked a lot like him. A Medford, Oregon, bank camera recorded a man robbing their bank. He got away. Police circulated the images to help find the crook. No sooner did the pictures get out when people noticed the culprit looked like Mike Rowe. Rowe’s phone lit up with calls. Mike comically says that even his mom called with, “Now, Mike, you could have called us.” Rowe’s alibi was that he was in Kansas at the time. I’ve seen the pictures and I agree that it looks like Rowe. We know it was not Rowe. How do we know will come later. For now, the story reminds me of a warning given by Jesus.
“See that no one leads you astray,” said Jesus to his disciples on Mt. Olives, because they were concerned about the end of times. Jesus further warned that many will come in his name. Literally, Jesus is saying that many will look like the Savior. And we’ll fall for it! Many will fall for it! Then Jesus says, “False christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray.” It will be hard for Christians to know. Look the way we get fooled by bank cameras. Imagine a person comes along saying all the right things, looking good, identifying with us, putting our pain into words, making us feel the hope is in them … like today’s politicians. We fall for it every time. So, with this track record, how will we know when the real Christ rises before us?
We will recognize Christ because we will believe. Getting back to Rowe, we know Mike didn’t do it because we believe him. Even when we consider that Mike Rowe has twice been to Medford. Does that not make you even a little suspicious? Of course not! We believe Rowe does not need to rob banks to make a living. And similar can be said of Christ, we will believe that Christ no longer must prove divinity with a show. Christ will not need to convince us by miracles and might. The false prophets will look the part, doing their “dirty jobs” to sway us to follow them to their glory. But no need for alarm, for the frauds may get away, but our faith will see us through. Remember Jesus’ simple instruction to us all, “Believe.” Believing is seeing.
 John 14:1 (ESV)