Give us this day our daily bread. In French, it is le pain quotidien. I know this because there’s a French chain up in New York City with this name and it bothered me so much that I had to get the translation. Upon learning the translation, the first thing that came to mind was the phrase in the Lord’s prayer. This got the wheels turning and I had to ask the question what is our daily bread?
“‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.”” – Luke 4:4
Man cannot survive on only bread. Actually, the only food on earth that man can survive on alone is honey, but this is a tangent. I think of bread as a fundamental food and so Jesus’s words quoting Deuteronomy 8:3 are slightly jarring. I can imagine the disciples coming to Jesus afterward and asking Him the meaning of this. Teacher, it doesn’t make sense.
I’m thankful for this. Selfishly, I’m glad for these words because I’m gluten intolerant. But on another level, this is encouraging because it points to something to sustain me that I cannot knead and bake myself. It points to God and His word. It points to something that is supplied for me daily. It’s mystique making it all the more enticing.
“And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” – Deuteronomy 8:3
We live by the word of God, every word of it and that comes from time spent studying it and meditating on it. It comes from time spent with others studying it and contemplating it together. It comes from exhorting one another and correcting one another with it. It comes from living a life based entirely on God’s word. We are soul, mind and body and will wither if we do not properly feed each entity. God’s word can feed the soul and mind, which bread cannot. It’s not that we need only God’s word, but it is an integral part of a balanced holistic daily diet. Today, will you ask Jesus to “give us this day our daily bread?”