11 Give us the bread we need for today.
This part of the Lord’s Prayer shifts our focus from the worship and holiness of God, the loving relationship we have with God as our divine parent, and the amazing revelation of God’s will to transform earth into the heavenly Kin-dom. Now the prayer focuses on ourselves and our needs. Or does it? Up until now, the prayer hasn’t been about what we want or need. Our focus has been on God. But now Jesus turns the prayer to us, by asking God to “give us the bread we need for today.” So, what does Jesus mean by teaching us to ask for “our daily bread”? (KJV)
The word we translate as “daily” is a word that has puzzled scholars. The unusual Greek word epiousios is translated as super-sustenance. Is Jesus talking about bread as food or spiritual bread? It seems Jesus has packed a lot of meaning into the simple act of asking God for bread.
Eaten at every meal, first century bread was fifty to seventy percent of a person’s caloric intake needed to survive. Without bread, people would perish. Now, “the bread we need for today” is our food, our shelter, our relationships that we need to survive. When we ask God for the bread that sustains us, we ask confidently in faith because we trust God to supply our basic needs. God wants us to trust and come to God each day, not to pray to God only in emergencies. As children of God, we have access to a relationship of love and support everyday with God who is concerned with supplying our needs.
This verse also teaches us that “the bread we need for today” is Jesus. Jesus is the bread of life, giving eternal life to the world, so we never go hungry. We need our ‘daily Jesus’ to provide us with holy spiritual sustenance to get through the day. We rely on receiving daily spiritual nourishment to grow in faith, and we are fed by the Holy Spirit so we can share the Good News of Jesus with others. We experience Jesus as the bread of life, in our church community, around the communion table. Together as we break the bread as one body in Christ, we are transformed by God’s love and await the feast at his heavenly banquet.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
So, asking God to give us our daily bread really isn’t just about us. Asking God for the bread we need today reminds us of the poverty in the world. When God supplies our needs and nourishes us, it is so we can be Christ to others to help them in their all needs, both for basic survival and spiritual.
Are you trusting God each day to supply your needs? Are you relying on your ‘daily Jesus’ to nourish you, so you can be Christ to those in need?
Prayer: Loving God, thank you for giving us Jesus, the bread of life. Nourish and transform us with your Spirit so we can do your will and be Christ to others in need. Amen.