Session 11: Can You Really Sweat Drops of Blood?

Apologetics and the Gospel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  8:27
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Join us today as we answer the question, can you really sweat drops of blood?

(Intro Music starts with first slide - read intro and move forward)
Welcome to Apologetics and the Gospel. My name is Pastor Jonathan White, and I am the Lead Pastor at CrossPointe Family Church in Hurricane, WV as well as a practicing Emergency Medicine Physician.

Question for Today: Can You Really Sweat Drops of Blood?

Today’s question might be a bit strange for many listening. This question has arisen because of the Gospel of Luke.
After the institution of the Lord’s Supper and washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus goes out to a place called Gethsemane to pray. And during this emotive and difficult prayer Jesus shows the struggle He knows is coming. He obviously knows that the cross is coming. He knows that within a matter of hours, He will be arrested and handed over to the Romans for crucifixion which was and is the most horrific means of tortuous death known to date.
And it is in Luke 22:44, that we see the basis for our question for today occur…
Luke 22:44 ESV
And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
He is so stressed that he is sweating drops of blood. The word used by Luke - who was also a physician I might add - to describe the emotion of Jesus at this time is agony. This word in the original Greek text of the Bible is agōnia (ah-go-nee-ah) which means agony or even anguish. It refers to excruciating pain of the mind or body or even the soul.
As a physician this is an incredible thing to understand. I had never actually heard of this account being scientifically addressed until I was in medical school. While attending an event by the Christian Medical and Dental Association at Marshall, I heard a great lecture by a Christian physician named Dr. Kevin Yingling. Hearing him address the science behind this phenomenon was eye-opening for me. So I want to do that for you today as well.


According the NIH, hematohidrosis is a very rare condition of sweating blood.
Yes - the NIH - the National Institute of Health - admits this is a real phenomenon!
So scientifically and Biblically speaking - the answer to this question is actually an easy YES!
But how can this be possible? How can someone actually sweat drops of blood?

Hematohidrosis Pathophysiology

The understanding of this condition is that when someone is under incredibly intense stress, their stress hormones including epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) can lead to blood capillary rupture within the sweat glands which causes leakage of blood through the pores of the skin.
If you watch the presentation found on our website found at and select ATG, you can see a picture showing the steps that occur in order for this to happen.

Bleeding From the Eyes

It should also be noted that blood can come from other areas of the body when under intense stress as well. There are reports of people crying bloody tears that have a similar pathological cause as hematohidrosis.

Some Clinical Case Reports

If you are a physician or a science guy like me, you like to have some case reports to further understand this phenomenon. Obviously we have already mentioned one today - Jesus!
But here are some other examples.

Case #1 - 13-year Old Boy in 2007

See for the entire article.
This young man presented to the department of dermatology with a history of spontaneous bleeding from his skin. During the examination, the blood would disappear as soon as it was wiped away leaving no sign of trauma only to reappear within seconds. Interestingly, his blood work including bleeding time, clotting time, and PT/PTT were all normal. He was diagnosed with hematohidrosis. The blood had been tested by the benzidine test as well as a microscopic examination which confirmed that it was true bleeding from the skin.

Case #2 - A 20-year-old Female in Saudi Arabia

See for the full article.
This 20-year-old female had almost weekly bloody tears, as well as gum bleeding, ear bleeding, and epistaxis (which is a fancy way of saying nose bleeding). She was eventually diagnosed with hematohidrosis and treated with a beta blocker that helped her symptoms.

Case #3 - A 10-year-old Female With Intense Fear

See for the full article.
A 10-year old girl with intense fear secondary to psychosocial stressors presented to the Department of Psychiatry with bleeding from her scalp. It was determined that she had hematohidrosis and after some treatment with therapy and medication, the disorder improved.
Amazingly, there are many other case reports just like these. Today, the understanding of hematohidrosis has become a known reality in modern medicine. Although rare, it is widely accepted as a true disorder that may occur.
Sadly, there are still many liberal theologians that teach that Jesus sweat drops that were ‘like drops of blood’ and deny that He actually sweat blood. Sometimes the greatest forces against Christ arise from within the Church! Many wolves in sheep’s clothing fill pulpits throughout the world and preach false teachings. Beware of these people.
Jesus warned us about people like this:
Matthew 7:15 ESV
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
I oftentimes have sparred more so with secular scientists on this podcast because they deny much of what the Bible teaches. Today, however, our battle is from within the confines of the church. Amazingly, even secular science has understood and accepted the scientific explanation behind hematohidrosis. But it is those who wish to defame and demean the Word of God within liberal theology that are the problem in times like these.
I urge everyone listening to take the Word of God for what it is - the inerrant and trustworthy Word of God. We don’t need scientist’s opinions to confirm what we already know is true. But we can celebrate when we are able to see more confirmation in God’s Word seen in our world - even when it comes from unbelievers!
(Slide Closing 1)
This presentation has been put together to strengthen the faith of believers and to challenge the unbelief of others. I pray that you have found this presentation helpful.
Also, please note that this 10-15 minute presentation cannot exhaustively address most issues. My prayer is that it stimulates you to personally research further, and I am assured that you will find the Word of God proven time and time again.
(Slide Closing 2 with outro music)
Feel free to email any ideas you would like to see addressed by emailing me at There are slides prepared for each of these presentations which can be accessed at our church website at and select ATG. God bless and have a blessed week.
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