Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him and gave Him strength. In His anguish He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.
Scripture: Luke 22:39-46
If you read the footnote at the bottom of the page of this lesson in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, you will find these words: “Other ancient authorities lack verses 43 and 44.” In the Gospels of Matthew and Mark we read that Jesus went away three times to pray and each time He returned to find the disciples asleep, after Jesus had bidden them to stay awake and pray. In the three Synoptic Gospels, (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) the disciples fail to keep watch and pray.
This was one time when Jesus really was depending on the disciples to be supportive and to pray for Him. They failed miserably and in Matthew and Mark they failed three times! While some authorities lack these verses found in Luke alone, I appreciate them and am comforted that at this time Jesus may not have felt as abandoned as He would later. Jesus knew what was coming and He needed all the strength He could muster to pray God’s will be done. An angel does appear and strengthens Him. The anguish Jesus was experiencing and the intensity of Jesus’ praying is evidenced by sweat like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. No doubt the ministry of the angel to Jesus was greatly appreciated.
For this fleeting moment of Jesus’ Passion, our Savior, did not have to be alone. Perhaps you like me have experienced those times when we sense an angel with us to comfort … help … or encourage us. What a difference they can make!
O God, around Your throne angels hover glorifying and praising You. We thank You that in that time of great need our Savior Jesus could be comforted by an angel, who gave Him strength. We thank You for those guardian angels who have watched over us. We also thank You that in those times when we have felt alone, angels have been dispatched to us to comfort …help … or encourage us. In the name of Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.