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Matthew 6:11 | Bread of Life

Matthew 6:11 (NKJV): “Give us this day our daily bread.”

In last week’s blog, we explored what Jesus meant when He instructed us to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. In this blog entry, we are going to continue to dive into the prayer that Christ tells us to pray, and explore Matthew 6:11. Why are we praying for bread, and would it be possible for it to be Panera? Just kidding, but let’s get started.

1) God provides for us while in the wilderness

At the beginning of John 6, Jesus feeds the five thousand with fish and bread, addressing the peoples’ physical need of food and demonstrating His ability to provide. Later on in the chapter, from verse 22 and onward, Jesus references the Israelites in the wilderness who ate the bread that God gave from heaven, called manna (in the same way, God provided for the physical needs of the Israelites in the wilderness). The Scripture Jesus is referencing is Exodus 16, where the Israelites are in the wilderness and begin grumbling to Moses and Aaron about food, saying, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” (Exodus 16:3 NKJV). In response to the Israelites complaints, God provides meat in the evening and manna in the morning, but commands them that they only take what they need for the day. In this way, God is testing the Israelites to see if they will be obedient. If the Israelites collected more bread than they needed for the day, so as to store up extra for the days to come, the bread would spoil, produce worms, and stink (Exodus 16:20).

What is interesting about the bread from heaven, or, “manna,” is that the name “manna” in Hebrew simply means “what is it?”, or, “what?” We see this in Exodus 16:15, “So when the children of Israel saw it [the bread/manna], they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was.” In the same way, we see people in the New Testament constantly saying the same thing towards Jesus: “What?” Christ spoke in a way never heard before, and stumped people with some of the words He spoke. From the miracles Christ did, to the sinless life He led, people could