This Sunday we will be looking at the response of Jesus to his impending death. Below you’ll find the passages from all four Gospels transposed into one passage. It helps us to get a more complete picture than if we simply focused on one of the Gospels. John doesn’t take the time to go into the specifics of what happened in the Garden (maybe he was embarrassed because he fell asleep :), yet his words provide an excellent introduction to the other three Gospels that describe what happened with only slight (yet helpful) variation. I used Matthew’s description as the base text and added Mark and Luke’s accounts to make it more descriptive.
The picture is what the Garden looks like today. The site was/is a grove of olive trees (Gethsemane literally means “oil press” – geth–semane). Apparently it was a place where Jesus and the disciples often went to pray and engage the Scriptures. Today there is a church that has been built next to the Garden (as is the case with many of the “holy” sites — sites aren’t really holy – we just say that ;). For a very cool 3-D tour of the Garden and it’s relative distance from Jerusalem proper, click here.
The Garden of Gethsemane
[Jn 18:1-2-When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples. Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples.]
36Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane [Lk 22:39as was His custom], and said to His disciples, “[ Lk 22:40-Pray that you may not enter into temptation][and] Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
37And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed [Mk 14:32 (MSG)-He plunged into a sinkhole of dreadful agony]. [Lk 22:43-Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.]
38Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”
39And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My [Mk 14:36-Abba] Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” [Lk 22:44-And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.]
40And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping [Lk 22:45-from sorrow], and said to [Mk 14:37-Simon] Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?
41″Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
43Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy [Mk 14:40-and they did not know what to answer Him].
44And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.
45Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
46″Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”
And BTW — Did Jesus really sweat drops of blood as (Dr.) Luke notes?
“And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.” –Lk 22:44 (NAS)
This was written by the physician Luke, a well-educated man and a careful observer by profession. Luke is also the only gospel writer to mention the bloody sweat, possibly because of his interest as a physician in this rare physiological phenomenon, which spoke eloquently of the intense spiritual agony Jesus was suffering… (Dr. Henry M. Morris, The Defenders Bible, marginal notes for Luke 22:44)
Although this medical condition is relatively rare, according to Dr. Frederick Zugibe (Chief Medical Examiner of Rockland County, New York) it is well-known, and there have been many cases of it. The clinical term is “hematidrosis.” “Around the sweat glands, there are multiple blood vessels in a net-like form.” Under the pressure of great stress the vessels constrict. Then as the anxiety passes “the blood vessels dilate to the point of rupture. The blood goes into the sweat glands.” As the sweat glands are producing a lot of sweat, it pushes the blood to the surface – coming out as droplets of blood mixed with sweat. (Here’s a link to a medical dictionary.)