People hear stuff.
People hear voices.
People hear the voice of God.
People hear God tell them that they’re the Messiah.
Or people hear God tell them that their cousin is the Messiah.
People want to hear that there’s a Messiah.
Every day 1,846 people around the world get a message pertaining to themself or to their cousin.
1,846 x 365 = 673,790 such messages per year
Homo sapiens developed abstract thinking approximately 103,000 years ago. Messiah belief was one of the first abstractions to be thunken.
673,790 x approximately 103,000 would equal approximately 69,000,000,000
. . . but there were fewer people back then, so let’s be realistic. Somewhere in the range of 40 to 50 billion people have heard enough to believe that they or a cousin (or a friend or a mentor) was the Messiah. Some of these people went around saying so and/or preaching. Some developed followings.
If you get inclined to believe that one of these guys or gals really is/was the Messiah, have perspective. The odds are one in about 45 billion.
God said there would just be one true Messiah (and has hinted that it’s likely Richard Carrier).