Sermon on the Mount: Lord’s Prayer - Daily Bread
Matthew 6:11 (also Matthew 6:30-33)
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
Matthew 6:11 NASB1995
In the perfect disciple’s prayer, Jesus first has us acknowledge our Father, know that He is holy, bring forth His kingdom and obey His perfect will. Now Jesus turns to those things that we need, starting with our physical needs. Reading through some of the sermons and commentaries on the Lord’s Prayer, it is interesting to note that many scholars thought that this short statement had to be a metaphor for Jesus, as the Bread of Life (one of the John “I AM” statements) or representing the Sacrament of Communion. But it truly is a simple plea for our daily sustenance.
God knows and cares about our basic needs (not “greeds”). We have so much stuff in our lives in 21st century America. People spend hours shopping for things they don’t need at prices they often can’t afford. We usually buy our groceries without a second thought for all of the farming, labor and processing that went into bringing them to us, but when inflation starts to rear its ugly head or there is a economic downturn or supply chain breakdowns, then we start to realize how much our physical necessities cost us and how alarming empty shelves can be at the store. When there is real scarcity, which has been a normal condition in human history, then it becomes even more important to put our physical needs before God on a daily basis. But we should always ask God for what we truly need and thank Him profusely for what he gives us and never take it for granted, even in the good times. All of the fruits of our labor are His first.
Jesus brings us more advice later in the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 6: 30-33
“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6:31-33 NASB1995
Jesus is repeating what He said in this prayer. Seek God’s Kingdom and His righteous will first, then He will add what you need to keep you alive.
My next Sermon on the Mount devotional examines the relational needs that we should pray for: Forgive us our debts (sins) as we forgive our debtors.