Monday, February 28

Our Daily Bread

“Give us this day our daily bread.”
Matt. 6:11 NKJV

(This is the fifth segment of The Model Prayer series.)

Daily. Interesting word. The word source for daily in this verse has been debated by scholars. The Greek word seems to be a compound word (epiousios), which has perplexed commentators because it occurs nowhere else in either classical or sacred Greek.

In one old manuscript, only Matthew uses the word epiousios. Luke’s account in Luke 11:3 uses the word epiousa for daily. It means following, next, or the ensuing day or night. Some experts say that the same word epiousios is used in both verses in other manuscripts.

According to the separate elements of the word used by Matthew, epi is a primary preposition, which means of time, place, order, over, upon, at, on, towards, upon, etc. Ousia means substance, property (possessions), or goods. Even this, say the experts, is questionable.

The Greek word for bread used in both verses means not just bread but food of any kind, that which is needful and sufficient for our nourishment. In other words, grant us this day our necessary nourishment.

In ancient times, bread held a great deal of significance in the lives of the Israelites and in their worship, being offered at feasts with other sacrifices. Bread was the confirmation of God’s presence. Being called showbread, meaning bread of presence or bread of face, it was placed in the Holy Place of the tabernacle and the temple.

God told Moses to “put the Bread of the Presence on the table before Me continually” (Ex. 25:30 Masoretic Text), as a perpetual symbol of His presence and provision.

Life depended upon the harvests of the grains, which depended upon the rain. As the sustenance of life, bread was, in a sense, also considered sacred, as a gift of God through His benevolence to allow the rain and the harvests. It remained a daily reminder of man’s unbroken dependence upon God for His provision.

The loaf of bread back then was thinner in shape and crisper than ours today, hence the term “breaking bread,” which signified sharing fellowship at a meal. The giving of bread symbolized hospitality, or as it was called, the bread of fellowship.

Breaking bread meant sharing the fellowship of a meal, which bound the participants in strong ties of friendship, as in covenant, and represented a pledge of reconciliation and peace. According to the law, one was expected to give a stranger or traveler water, food, shelter, and protection.

Bread was the best a poor man could give as his duty of hospitality to a guest. As a guest, to decline an offering of bread violated the sacred law of hospitality. In essence, it said to the host that his bread was unfit for use.

Eating with someone and then betraying them was one of the most despicable acts in the ancient world. As well as Obadiah (Ob. 7) and David (Ps. 41:9), think Judas.

And the writer of Hebrews reminds us from the time of Abraham, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.” (Heb. 13:2 NKJV)

As the principal food, bread was called the “stay of bread,” or the support, protector, or sustenance of life. Or, as we would say, the staff of life.

As Jesus came from heaven to give life to the world, He said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35a NKJV)

We need not only our daily physical bread but also, and even more so, our daily spiritual Bread, our Staff of Life. Do we refuse the Bread that sustains life that Jesus offers? Do we then convey to Him that His Bread of Life is unfit for us?

The Bread of Life is the Word of Life. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4 NKJV)

“Lord, give us this bread always.” (John 6:34 NKJV)

11 Responses
  1. Unknown Says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I just love this Lynn! The Bible study geek in me enjoys the Greek background info and root meanings. As the manna fell from heaven daily - so too do we need to gather our "fresh" Bread of Heaven every morning. Yesterday's stale bread just won't do. Great post!

  3. Oh Lynn, so much on bread... I love the Word, I take it as my daily nourishment. Sometimes I am so hungry for His word I feel like I devour it... Hhmm, maybe I am a little greedy :)

  4. Great post friend! It's so close to heart! These kind of blogs are so necessary to stop by and read through the lines of truth in this fast-paced world.

  5. lynnmosher Says:

    Thanks so much for your comment, sweet Deborah! I always love hearing from you. Makes my heart happy! :D

  6. lynnmosher Says:

    LOL If you were going to be greedy about anything, craving the Word would be the one! Thanks, Marja! :D

  7. lynnmosher Says:

    Hosted, thank you so much for taking time to visit and comment. I deeply appreciate it. Blessings to you!

  8. Lynn ~ I just love the way you write and the way you remind me of biblical truths! So thankful Jesus is my Daily Bread and that He gives me life!

  9. Unknown Says:

    Dear Lyn,


    I would like to start by asking you two questions. One: Can you can give an accurate definition of the phrase: "Lamb of God"? We all know that this is one of the names used for Jesus, like Messiah, Savior, Son of Man, or Christ. But exactly what is the importance of the name "Lamb of God"?

    And why is it important to me as a Catholic? The second question I would like to ask you is: Why the Catholic Church would offer The Holy Eucharist every day at every Mass throughout the world in over 3000 languages. What knowledge do they have that would make them feel compelled to do this for thousands of years?

    In answering this question, we'll see why the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.'" (CC 1324) For more information on Jesus New Covenant and how everything ties together -- Passover Meal -> Manna -> Prophecy of the New Covenant -> Bread of Life Meaning -- go to The 4th and watch the video! You can also read along while the video is playing.

  10. lynnmosher Says:

    Thank you, sweet Stephanie! Somehow, I overlooked your comment. I always love seeing you here! Bless you!

  11. lynnmosher Says:

    Michael, thanks so much for taking time to read and comment. Will check it out. Be blessed!