I wonder if Jesus leaned down, picked up a loaf of bread and held it before His disciples before He spoke these words,
Give us today our daily bread.
With bread in hand, I wonder if He tore off piece by piece to give to each of His chosen twelve as a symbolic gesture of provision. There is anxiety when our basic needs go unmet. Now, I’m not talking about things we would like to have that serve more of a comfort or entertainment value. I’m talking about the provision of true daily bread; the things that meet our physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.
When I looked up the Greek meanings of Matthew 6:11, I found something profound. There are two words that address the meaning and importance of bread. The first is artos.
Artos is a noun that is described as food made of flour, mixed with water and baked. The Israelites made artos in the form of a round cake. It was as thick as one’s thumb. It was served on a large platter. The interesting thing to note about this bread is that it was not to be cut, but rather broken and torn. These artos loaves were dedicated to the Lord. It was used at special feasts and served at the Lord’s Table.
Here’s my first ‘aha!” from this index sentence…
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 NIV
Our Lord Jesus offered Himself as our daily bread for our each and every need. He allowed Himself to be broken for our transgressions.
But we can’t stop there, there is another word associated with bread in this verse. It is epiousios. It’s an adjective. It’s used to describe the kind of bread that was provided each day.
Are you ready for this?
Epiousios means that the bread is the kind that suffices for each day. It is the bread of necessity.
So, if I’ve got it right, then ‘Give us today our daily bread’ is read this way in Greek:
This bread of our necessity that suffices, give to us each day.
So in our prayers, we pray for what we need. Our daily provision includes food, water, the necessities in life, our emotional, spiritual, and health needs, our family concerns; the big stuff. But in my mind this is also an opportunity for us to pray for Jesus, our bread of necessity that suffices, our Bread of Life, to be given to us each day as well.
Just pause for a moment and say, ‘Give us today our daily bread.’
Meditate on the special truth that our God is aware of our needs and will provide for them through His Son Jesus. There is no need to be anxious or afraid.
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” Matthew 6:31-32 NIV
He knows about our finances.
He knows about our children.
He knows about our parents’ health issues.
He knows about our job situation.
He knows about the misunderstanding and conflict.
He knows about it all.
Give us today our daily bread, O Lord.
Give us Jesus.
Finally, the last thing I want to touch on from this index sentence is that Jesus doesn’t use a singular personal pronoun. He uses the plural form.
We are to pray.
The daily bread is for us. So again, in my mind, this prayer sentence prompts us to consider the needs and concerns of others. How can we share the provision we have been given with others? There are huge needs all around us and around the world. How can we share the bread of life, the bread of necessity each day with those in our sphere of influence and beyond?
Over here we have plenty of opportunities. A day doesn’t go by when we aren’t given a choice and opportunity to meet a physical need of food, clothing, and more. It’s a daily decision to trust that our Lord will provide for our daily bread as we share with those who come to our gate or approach our car.
How can we be generous and caring of others who have need, just as we do? May we have hearts and eyes that are open to share in the Lord’s Table, share the Lord’s bread and share His provision together.
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.