Summary: We are not sufficient for anything in and of ourselves. We are totally dependent upon God.
Fourth petition (preceded by Hallowed be, Thy Kingdom, Thy will…), and this is the first of three petitions which references us. All previous were God-focused, this one is focused on us.
These petitions are profound in their simplicity; they reference every aspect of life.
Daily Bread = Present; Forgiveness of Debts = Past; Leading and Delivering Us = Future
There are three petitions which focus on us, the first regarding the daily physical needs of life.
I want us to note 4 things in this petition which teach us about going to God for our needs.
I. The Dependency in the Petition
+ “Give…” - Important to realize this is in the Imperative, but that does not mean we command
Some people believe we should command God
The Health and Wealth charlatans say that we can demand our blessings from God.
QUOTE: A famous H&W preacher said that God is like a waiter waiting to fill your order.
My petitions to God should never be confused with demands
The phrase “give us” is in the imperative, but it is not a commanding imperative
A SUPERIOR speaking to an INFERIOR in the imperative is a COMMAND
An INFERIOR speaking to a SUPERIOR is the imperative is a PLEA
It is a supplication, as in “Give us this or we will die”
The imperative here indicates to us the necessity of having this need met.
If God does not meet this need daily, we will cease to exist.
There is no one else to turn to; only God can meet our needs.
This is not a place where we demand God; but rather one where we show our dependency.
II. The Plurality in the Petition
+ “Give Us…Our” - This is not just personal, but also includes the needs of others close to us.
QUOTE: Albert Barnes NT Notes (in the 1800s) “It is evidently, therefore, intended to be used by more than one, or by some community of people. No community or congregation can meet every day for worship but families. It is therefore evident that this prayer is a strong implied command for daily family prayer. It can nowhere else be used so as fully to come up to the meaning of the original intention; and nowhere else can it be breathed forth with so much propriety and beauty as from the lips of a father, the venerable priest of his household, and the pleader with God for those rich blessings which a parental bosom desires on his beloved offspring.”
This is not a self-centered petition; but one with an eye to the needs of others.
III. The Constancy in the Petition
+ “Give Us This day…” - demonstration of constant need and dependence.
May seem irrelevant to is; we are more like "lord please keep me from daily bread"
Some live month to month, or paycheck to paycheck.
In Jesus time people lived day to day, hand to mouth - for them, this was reality.
Even though most of us do live without a great deal of worry that tomorrow we will not have enough food, we don't know what tomorrow will bring.
There is no one here who cannot guarantee that what you have will last to tomorrow.
Investments can fail, savings can be lost, stocks can crash.
We are dependent daily upon the providence of God.
Furthermore, this constant prayer reminds us from Whom our blessings flow.
1 Corinthians 4:7b “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?”
Not one crumb of our daily bread is guaranteed outside of God’s provision.
If God chose to not give us our daily bread, we would not get it; thus we petition daily.
IV. The Content in the Petition
+ “Our Daily Bread” - A seeming redundancy
NET NOTE: The term e˙piou/sioß does not occur outside of early Christian literature (other occurrences are in Luke 11:3 and Didache 8:2), so its meaning is difficult to determine.
Various suggestions include “daily,” “the coming day,” and “for existence.”
When you don’t know how a word was used, you are reduced to pure etymology
Jerome translated it into a Latin word which means “super-substantial” because the verb “to be” is in this word, therefore it came to be known as the communion bread and a support of the false teaching of transubstantiation (i.e. “Give us everyday the bread of the eucharist”).
Others spiritualized it to mean “Give us the spiritual bread”.
It should rather be constructed from the verb “to go” and it relates to the “day coming” or the “day following”. Give us the bread for the day which is coming. Give us the amount needed for the day.
QUOTE: JFB “Let us not rob ourselves — out of a morbid spirituality — of our one petition in this prayer for that bodily provision which the immediate sequel of this discourse shows that our heavenly Father has so much at heart.