Prayed more earnestly - With greater emphasis and earnestness than usual, with strong crying and tears, Hebrews 5:7; the reason given for which is, that he was in an agony. Kypke well observes, Vox αγωνια summum animi angorem et dolorem indicat; et idem est, quod αδημονειν, Matthew 26:37; Mark 14:34. "The word αγωνια (agony) points out the utmost anguish and grief of soul, and is of the same import with αδημονειν in Matthew and Mark." See the note on Matthew 26:37.
Drops of blood - See the note on Matthew 26:38. Some have thought that the meaning of the words is, that the sweat was so profuse that every drop was as large as a drop of blood, not that the sweat was blood itself: but this does not appear likely. There have been cases in which persons in a debilitated state of body, or through horror of soul, have had their sweat tinged with blood. Dr. Mead from Galen observes, Contingere interdum, poros ex multo aut fervido spiritu adeo dilatari, ut etiam exeat sanguis per eos, fiatque sudor sanguineus. "Cases sometimes happen in which, through mental pressure, the pores may be so dilated that the blood may issue from them; so that there may be a bloody sweat." And Bishop Pearce gives an instance from Thuanus (De Thou) of an Italian gentleman being so distressed with the fear of death that his body was covered with a bloody sweat. But it is fully evident that the fear of death could have no place in the mind of our blessed Lord. He was in the bloom of life, in perfect health, and had never suffered any thing from disease of any kind; this sweat was most assuredly produced by a preternatural cause. See at the end of the chapter.
See the Luke 22:43
Strengthening him - His human nature, to sustain the great burden that was upon his soul. Some have supposed from this that he was not divine as well as human; for if he was “God,” how could an angel give any strength or comfort? and why did not the divine nature “alone” sustain the human? But the fact that he was “divine” does not affect the case at all. It might be asked with the same propriety, If he was, as all admit, the friend of God, and beloved of God, and holy, why, if he was a mere man, did not “God” sustain him alone, without an angel‘s intervening? But the objection in neither case would have any force. The “man, Christ Jesus,” was suffering. His human nature was in agony, and it is the “manner” of God to sustain the afflicted by the intervention of others; nor was there any more “unfitness” in sustaining the human nature of his Son in this manner than any other sufferer.
In an agony - See this verse explained in the notes at Matthew 26:42-44.
Sleeping for sorrow - On account of the greatness of their sorrow. See the notes at Matthew 26:40.
“It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.” Our tables are frequently spread with luxuries neither healthful nor necessary, because we love these things more than we love self-denial, freedom from disease, and soundness of mind. Jesus sought earnestly for strength from His Father. This the divine Son of God considered of more value, even for Himself, than to sit at the most luxurious table. He has given us evidence that prayer is essential in order to receive strength to contend with the powers of darkness, and to do the work allotted us. Our own strength is weakness, but that which God gives is mighty and will make everyone who obtains it more than conqueror. 2T 203.1
As the Son of God bowed in the attitude of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, the agony of His spirit forced from His pores sweat like great drops of blood. It was here that the horror of great darkness surrounded Him. The sins of the world were upon Him. He was suffering in man's stead as a transgressor of His Father's law. Here was the scene of temptation. The divine light of God was receding from His vision, and He was passing into the hands of the powers of darkness. In His soul anguish He lay prostrate on the cold earth. He was realizing His Father's frown. He had taken the cup of suffering from the lips of guilty man, and proposed to drink it Himself, and in its place give to man the cup of blessing. The wrath that would have fallen upon man was now falling upon Christ. It was here that the mysterious cup trembled in His hand. 2T 203.2
Jesus had often resorted to Gethsemane with His disciples for meditation and prayer. They were all well acquainted with this sacred retreat. Even Judas knew where to lead the murderous throng, that he might betray Jesus into their hands. Never before had the Saviour visited the spot with a heart so full of sorrow. It was not bodily suffering from which the Son of God shrank, and which wrung from His lips, in the presence of His disciples, these mournful words: “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” “Tarry ye here,” said He, “and watch with Me.” 2T 203.3Read in context »
As I viewed poor souls dying for want of the present truth, and some who professed to believe the truth were letting them die by withholding the necessary means to carry forward the work of God, the sight was too painful, and I begged of the angel to remove it from me. I saw that when the cause of God called for some of their property, like the young man who came to Jesus (Matthew 19:16-22) they went away sorrowful, and that soon the overflowing scourge would pass over and sweep their possessions all away, and then it would be too late to sacrifice earthly goods, and lay up a treasure in heaven. EW 49.1
I then saw the glorious Redeemer, beautiful and lovely; that He left the realms of glory and came to this dark and lonely world to give His precious life and die, the just for the unjust. He bore the cruel mocking and scourging, wore the plaited crown of thorns, and sweat great drops of blood in the garden, while the burden of the sins of the whole world was upon Him. The angel asked, “What for?” Oh, I saw and knew that it was for us; for our sins He suffered all this, that by His precious blood He might redeem us unto God! EW 49.2
Then again was held up before me those who were not willing to dispose of this world's goods to save perishing souls by sending them the truth while Jesus stands before the Father pleading His blood, His sufferings, and His death for them; and while God's messengers are waiting, ready to carry them the saving truth that they might be sealed with the seal of the living God. It is hard for some who profess to believe the present truth to do even so little as to hand the messengers God's own money that He has lent them to be stewards over. EW 49.3Read in context »
When in the garden of Gethsemane, the cup of suffering was placed in the Saviour's hand, the thought came to Him, Should He drink it or should He leave the world to perish in sin? His suffering was too great for human comprehension. As the agony of soul came upon Him, “His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). The mysterious cup trembled in His hand. In this awful crisis, when everything was at stake, the mighty angel who stands in God's presence, came to the side of Christ, not to take the cup from His hand, but to strengthen Him to drink it, with the assurance of the Father's love. TDG 49.6Read in context »
This is true home missionary work, and it is as helpful to those who do it as to those for whom it is done. By our faithful interest for the home circle we are fitting ourselves to work for the members of the Lord's family, with whom, if loyal to Christ, we shall live through eternal ages. For our brethren and sisters in Christ we are to show the same interest that as members of one family we have for one another. COL 196.1
And God designs that all this shall fit us to labor for still others. As our sympathies shall broaden and our love increase, we shall find everywhere a work to do. God's great human household embraces the world, and none of its members are to be passed by with neglect. COL 196.2
Wherever we may be, there the lost piece of silver awaits our search. Are we seeking for it? Day by day we meet with those who take no interest in religious things; we talk with them, we visit among them; do we show an interest in their spiritual welfare? Do we present Christ to them as the sin-pardoning Saviour? With our own hearts warm with the love of Christ, do we tell them about that love? If we do not, how shall we meet these souls—lost, eternally lost—when with them we stand before the throne of God? COL 196.3Read in context »