We will explore the agony in the garden from the Bible and what we can learn from Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane.
As I have been studying on the topic of prayer for the past month. You can check out some of those articles below
Then I landed on the prayers of Jesus and specifically Jesus praying in Gethsemane. This is also known as the the Agony In the Garden, The Agony of Christ or the Agony of Jesus.
I wanted to share what I have learned in this study and I hope it really blesses you as it has blessed me. To be honest I didn’t know how to break up the post so I have one section that shares facts about agony in the Garden and the other part what we can learn from Jesus’s prayers at Gethsemane.
At the very end of the post, I have the Bible references from each gospel. If you would like to read the account and compare all 4 versions.
7 Interesting Facts About The Agony In The Garden
When we study scriptures you will always find that things are much more deeper and rich than just what we take at face value. And the same goes for the agony of Jesus!
In this section will will dive into some really cool and interesting facts about Gethsemane and the story of Jesus praying in the garden.
Fact 1 – Gethsemane Means Olive Press
Gethsemane was an olive orchard used to make oil. Many believe that the garden was owned by a friend or believer of Jesus.
Gethsemane in Hebrew can be broken down like this:
|Hebrew Word||English Translation|
To make olive oil the olives would have to be crushed, and pressed. The same thing happened to Christ he was under immense pressure and was crushed for our sins.
Check out this cool video see how exactly oil was pressed back in the days of Jesus!
Fact 2 – The Garden’s Location
The Garden of Gethsemane is located under the Mount of Olives. This means that Jesus was very familiar with this location. Many of his sermons and miracles were performed at the Mount of Olives.
Fact 3 – Jesus Repeated Himself
This is the only time you will read that Jesus is said to repeat His prayers. This displays what a heavy burden He must have felt and most likely the physical need for Him to feel it lift off of Him.
Fact 4 – He Wasn’t Alone
It specifically mentions the Jesus took Peter, James, John with Him. These are the same 3 that saw Jesus transfigured in Matthew 17:1-9.
These three saw Jesus in full glory and majesty. And they also witnessed His agony in the garden.
Think about the King of Kings who was willing to be brought low and experienced excruciating pain, and stress so that we would be saved. Talk about love.
In John’s account he only mentions disciples. This could just reflect the 3 noted in the other gospels or perhaps the others came but were not mentioned.
Fact 5 – Jesus Sweat Blood
In Luke, it states that Jesus sweats blood while in prayer. That can sound far fetched but it’s an actual medical condition called Hermatidrosis or in laymen’s terms “Blood Sweat.” It is a rare condition and happens under extreme stress.
This is what good ol’ WebMd has to say about it:
People who have hematidrosis may sweat blood from their skin. It usually happens on or around the face, but the skin might be lining the inside of your body, too, like in your nose, mouth, or stomach. The skin around the bloody area may swell temporarily….
Sometimes it seems to be caused by extreme distress or fear, such as facing death, torture, or severe ongoing abuse. It’s probably where the term “sweating blood,” meaning a great effort, comes from…..
Fact 6 – The Cup of Suffering
Jesus asked “let this cup pass from Me” and “if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done”
In Biblical symbolism and in Hebrew tradition, cups had strong significance. We see throughout scripture tips representing blessing, judgment, redemption, and wrath.
The cup Jesus drank from is known as the cup of suffering.
It’s also interesting to note this before Jesus died on the Cross:
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. – John 19:28-30
I believe Jesus was physically thirsty but I wonder if it was also spiritual. He was ready to drink the cup of suffering and take on the sin of the world.
Fact 7 – The Agony of Jesus is Mentioned in 3 of the 4 Gospels
The reference or story of the Gethsemane prayer can be found in all 4 gospels, but only 3 fully tell the story. Below are the references and some key points about each one.
Near the end of this post you have a chance to read all 4 references.
|Matthew 26:36-46||Matthew and Mark’s versions are the most identical with only a few different things.|
|Mark 14:32-42||In this version, Jesus calls Peter, Simon, and adds Abba to His prayer to the Father.|
|Luke 22:39-46||Luke is the only reference that mentions Jesus sweat blood and angel came to bring Him strength. Many believe that Luke mentioned Christ sweating blood because he was a doctor.|
|John 18:1||John only dedicates one verse to the story and does not go into detail.|
What Can We Learn From Jesus Praying In the Garden?
You may be asking why is the garden of Gethsemane important? And to be fair whole books could be written on the topic! It’s an amazing picture of Jesus’ sacrifice, devotion to God, prayer life and so much more.
But I want to touch on a few things we can learn from it.
Jesus Was Real With God But Laid Down His Will
Jesus knew what was coming and could feel the heaviness physically and spiritually. He asked the Father to pass this cup. But Jesus didn’t stop there… He let the Father know His petition but wanted God’s will more.
As believers, our desire should not just for what we want, but we should submit everything to His will. We see this in Lord’s prayer… “Your kingdom come your will be done…”
Prayer Protects Us From Temptation
Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Matthew 26:41 AMP
Entering into the presence of God in prayer covers us, gives us strength, and quickens our spirit.
What would have been the outcome for Peter if he didn’t fall asleep? Would he have cut off the ear of Malchus (John 18:10) ? Would he have fallen into temptation to deny Christ?
The Spirit is Willing
“the spirit is willing, but the body is weak….”
The very fact that Jesus went to his disciples and asked them to stay awake and pray for an hour tells me something….
It tells me the could have, but they didn’t or physically weren’t able. I know how I am when I am tired…the ship is going down no matter what!
The disciples let their bodies and emotions (sorrow) to over take them. It shows us how human the disciples were.
Jesus is teaching us a big spiritual truth here. That we have a choice day to day to let our body tell us what to do or to live by the Spirit.
An Angel Gave Jesus Strength
God can assign angels to not just accomplish things, but also help and aid us personally! It’s important that we understand the ministry angels and what they do.
Read The 4 Gospels Account of Jesus Praying in Gethsemane
All Bible verses are from the New King James Version. Feel free to check out other Bible translations at Bible Gateway.
I really do encourage you to read each account. They are short, but a powerful reminder of how much Jesus loves us.
36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His 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 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”
35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. 40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.
41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 [a]Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 46 Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered.
I hope you have enjoyed this Bible study on the Jesus’ agony in the garden and that it had stirred your faith.
Feel free to leave a comment below! I would love to hear from you and what God is doing in your life!
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…
Friday 15th of April 2022
I've always felt like I have never been home, anywhere, throughout my life. I've developed relationships that I have endeavored to protect and nurture and have never felt the same reciprocity with another human soul. I figured out why over this past year. As I have dove head amd heart first into scripture and Jesus's life, I realized that my best friend and brother. was waiting for me to read (search the scriptures daily) about him and what he wanted us to do to find our way home. I hope one day that all people can feel unbearably alone enough to realize they aren't alone at all. God is and always has been love. So much so that he gave us all a companion through life, death, history... You may think I'm some lunatic, but that is ok, because I'm gonna say it and mean it, Christ is alive and he speaks to each of us. Through the spirit, you can hear his truth. You can understand what once was not understood. I want to go home and see my friend. I want people to know they have a home too. That same home. Just read about it if you have time, make it a habit or a hobby. Thats all I got, and it is more than I deserve, thank God, the Father, in my Lord and friend's Holy name, Jesus Christ, I pray gratefully and hopefully for all to make it home safely. Amen.
Monday 28th of March 2022
Melissa ,I would like to have your input on a question asked during Bible study last Sunday. Jesus asked in prayer at Gethsemane, " if possible can this cup be removed" from Him. The question: what was the cup?
My view is: the "cup of suffering". Another view was: The "cup of Gods wrath". What is your view? I don't believe He feared death itself, but the mode of death was so brutal, and humiliating. Psalm 22, and Isaiah 53 explain a lot.
In the minds of men, he was accused of blasphemy, of bringing reproach on his father's name. He died for our transgressions. Men deemed him stricken by God. Our sin put him there. He loved us enough to take our place, but He was sinless. He was holy.
Please share your thoughts on this. Thank You, R Baldwin
Tuesday 2nd of March 2021
Thank You so much,Melissa,I really enjoyed reading this and will continue to do so.
Monday 25th of May 2020
I had to first stop crying before I could even start to comment. I have been so touched Reading about how Jesus was crushed and pressed for me. He went through REAL Agony for me. He loved me so much. He loved the whole world so much. So many times I have had heavy eye lids just like the disciples. I couldn’t stay awake to pray or praise. Jesus has done all of the heavy lifting and I’m ready to rededicate my life to Him. I feel so refreshed. Reading the agony in the garden was a real blessing to me for such a time as this. Thank you.