Mat 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
At that time, if anyone might proclaim, "See! this is the anointed or this." You don't want to trust [it].
Interesting and Hidden Aspects:
The point here is that during times of great pressure, people will look for saviors to help them. This demand will create supply. People will rise claiming to be saviors and prophets. People looking for signs and wonders will find them.
"Then" is from the Greek word that means "at that time" and "then."
The Greek word translated as "if" means "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone.
The word translated as "any man" means primarily "anything" or "anyone."
"Say" is from means "to say" and "to speak" also. It has less a sense addressing and proclaiming.
"Behold" is from an adverb meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!" In a humorous vein, this about how Christ uses this like we use the phrase "tah-dah" in a magic show, or "see!" in French.
"Here" is from a word that means "this" in the sense of "what is present" and "what can be seen."
The word translated as "Christ" means "anointed." In the NT, it is understood to mean the Messiah, following the anointing of the kings of Israel. The Jews of Jesus's era thought they understood who the Messiah was and the source of his authority. He was a descendant of David, and his authority came from David as "the anointed" king of the Jews.
The "there" is the same word as "here" above. It means "this."
The Greek word translated as "believe" does not apply to religious belief as much as it does trusting in other people, especially their word. Christ usually uses it in contexts, as the one here, that apply to trusting words. The negation of "belief" with the objective, instead of subjective, negative, equates trust with a fact.
There is no "it" in the verse. It was added for clarity.
The negative "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used.
Τότε "Then" is from tote, which means "at that time" and "then."
ἐάν "If" is from ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event.
τις (pron sg fem/masc nom) "Any man" is from tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."
Ἰδοὺ (adv) "Lo" is from idou, which means "to behold", "to see," and "to perceive." It acts as an adverbial phrase in this form meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!' It is a form of the verb eido, which means "to see."
ὧδε (adv) "Here" is hode, the demonstrative pronoun which means "this" in the sense of "what is present" and "what can be seen." With verbs of action and with a person (its use here), it means "here" as in "here I am" in the sense of "I am present."
῟ωδε, (adv) "There" is hode, the demonstrative pronoun which means "this" in the sense of "what is present" and "what can be seen." With verbs of action and with a person (its use here), it means "here" as in "here I am" in the sense of "I am present."
μὴ "Not" is from me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.
πιστεύσητε: (verb 2nd pl aor subj act or verb 2nd pl fut ind act) "Believe" is from pisteuo, which means "to trust, put faith in, or rely on a person", "to believe in someone's words", "to comply", "to feel confident in a thing," and "to entrust in a thing."
The Spoken Version:
"Then," he said. "If anyone might just proclaim."
He struck a pose as if he was a magician.
"Ta-dah!" he said gesturing as if uncovering a surprise. "This is the chosen one!"
Then he looked uncertain and added, "Or this."
His followers laughed and he smiled, joining in the humor.
"You aren't going to trust that?" he asked innocently.