In Matthew 24, Jesus, talking to His disciples, gave them a quick overview of the future that awaited them, at least on this earth. And among the things He talked about, and warned them about, Jesus said this: “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:5).
Think about the time that Jesus said these words. It was before the cross; it was a time when He was, from a worldly perspective, nothing but an itinerant preacher wandering around a relatively small area in a backwater province amid the vast empire of Rome. He has very few followers, none of whom really understood who Jesus really was or what He had come to do.
And yet, at this time, He makes this bold prediction?
Even when his words were eventually written down, later in the century, they still seemed far-fetched, because even though the faith had been growing, Christianity was soon to face overwhelming persecution from the Romans, who at times all but sought to stamp it out.
And yet, what happened? Over the centuries, over the millennia, and even to today, people have done just what Jesus said: Come in his name claiming to be the Christ. Simple google “People who claim to be Christ” or the like and you will see for yourself how this prediction, made a time when it would have seemed ludicrous, actually came true.
The point? Sure, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17), but the good news is that we have been give plenty of rational reasons to have that faith, this amazing prediction being only one.