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God’s Word for You

Luke 22:43 an angel appeared

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Monday, April 8, 2019

One papyrus and a few other Greek witnesses do not have this verse or the one that follows. Verses 43-44 are found in the following manuscripts: א, D, F, K, L, M, Q, U, Γ, Δ, Λ, Θ, Π, Ψ, and 0171, as well as most later manuscripts. Quite a few other ancient sources include these verses as well. The early church fathers Justin Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyons, Hippolytus of Rome, Eusebius of Caesarea, Jerome, Chrysostom, Augustine and others refer to it specifically. Perhaps we should consider Luke 22:43-44 in the same class as John 7:53-8:11 (the story of the woman caught in adultery). These are passages which might not be part of the original text of the Gospels in which they are found today, but they were clearly in the memories of some of the earliest church fathers, passed down from sources who may have been eyewitnesses or disciples of eyewitnesses.

43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.

Man’s story began in the Garden of Eden, where God walked and spoke to him until man ruined it all with his sin. Now the end of sin begins in another garden, with the only sinless man praying, weighed down by the burden of sins not his own. He needs to be strengthened and comforted, and an angel appears to offer this strength and comfort.

Imagine the task of this angel! “Go,” the Father said. “Comfort my Son. Give him strength and remind him that this cup he drinks is necessary for the redemption of all mankind. His suffering will be hard but brief. And on the third day he will be raised up once again.”

Outside the Garden of Eden, angels, cherubim, guarded the entrance with a flashing sword to be certain that sinful man could not enter and eat the fruit of the Tree of Life and live a deathless but sinful existence forever. Now in the Garden of Gethsemane an angel guarded the shaking body of the Lord God himself as men with swords approached. The Lord would soon climb the tree of pain to die guiltless so that mankind would not be caught in his sins forever.

Bless the angel that comforted our Jesus in his lonely hour of need. Bless the Christ who did not run away from us in our direst hour of need. He endured what we deserved so that we will never have to. His agony brought us healing. His mercy endures forever.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith

About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.


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