In the intense moments of prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane, it is possible Jesus experienced a condition known as hematidrosis—a rare medical phenomenon where individuals sweat blood.

This occurs when small blood vessels around sweat glands burst under extreme stress, mixing blood with sweat.

The Gospel of Luke, written by Luke the physician, describes Jesus as being in such anguish that “his sweat became like drops of blood, running down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44).

This scriptural account not only shows the profound physical and emotional suffering Jesus experienced, but it also aligns with medical understanding of hematidrosis. Though this condition is exceedingly rare, it is documented in cases involving significant psychological stress, such as fear of imminent death.

The detailed observation by Luke shows the meticulous approach he took to documenting Jesus’ life and the Passion. His medical background provides a credible framework for understanding the physiological realities Jesus may have faced.

This moment in the garden vividly illustrates Jesus’ sacrifice, marked physically by blood mingled with sweat, presaging the greater shedding of His blood on the cross.

Photo credit: Xenophon via Wikimedia Commons
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