While reading the commentary, Feasting the Word, about this week’s Gospel text, I stumbled upon this website that lists 15 ‘messiahs’. Each of these messiahs defied Rome between 4BCE and 70CE (there are more but these stick in Jesus’ time frame). Jesus is actually named as one too, stating that he died in 30CE.
I thought it was interesting to learn this as Jesus tells us “for many will come in my name and say ‘I am he!’ and ‘The time is near!; Do not go after them.” I knew there were false prophets but to now have names to them makes them more real. Looking at this list makes me think of Mighty Pythons Life of Brian with every other person claiming to be the Messiah. It is interesting there are actually names and written accounts of these ‘false leaders.’