Question: "How should Christians respond when someone claims to be Jesus reincarnated?"
Answer: Every so often, someone claims to be the reincarnation of Jesus. Some of these individuals even have an appearance similar to popular artistic renderings of Jesus. For a time, these “Jesus reincarnated” claimants gain a following. For various reasons, all of them are eventually exposed as the frauds and charlatans that they are. It’s hard to maintain the appearance of a perfect life. How should Christians, and non-Christians for that matter, respond when someone claims to be Jesus reincarnated?
The first thing to note is that reincarnation is not a biblical concept. The Bible teaches that everyone dies and then faces judgment (Hebrews 9:27). The idea of a cycle that people are trapped in involving death and reincarnation comes from Hinduism and Buddhism. It is not, and never has been, a Christian/biblical teaching. The second coming of Jesus Christ will not be Jesus reincarnated.
The second coming of Jesus Christ is described in great detail in Revelation 19:11–16. It is not a reincarnation of Jesus. It is Jesus Himself returning in all of His glory. At the second coming, Jesus is not “reborn” into the world; He does not come as an infant as He did at His first coming. Rather, Jesus returns in the same glorified body He departed with (Acts 1:11). The Bible also teaches that the return of Jesus will occur at a time a great worldwide upheaval. His second coming will take place at the end of the Great Tribulation. Jesus’ return will be as a conquering warrior, not as the Prince of Peace.
Jesus warned us that there would be many false messiahs. That is what anyone is who claims to be Jesus reincarnated—a false messiah. In Luke 17:23–24, Jesus declared, “People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.” See also Matthew 24:23–25. Jesus is saying that His second coming will be unmistakable. There will be no doubt. It will be as obvious as a powerful lightning strike in the dark of night.
Anyone who claims to be Jesus reincarnated is a liar, a charlatan, a false prophet, and a false messiah. Pay him no heed and give him no money. Reincarnation is a completely unbiblical concept. The second coming of Jesus, as described in the Bible, in no way resembles reincarnation. Jesus was born once; He died once; and now He is the Resurrected One who is “alive for ever and ever!” (Revelation 1:18).