This post follows Food for the Hungry Soul. The most well-known verse with the word BREAD is found in the Old and New Testaments, Jesus in Matthew 4:4 quoting Deuteronomy 8:3. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”.
Old Testament H3899
Strong’s Concordance defines BREAD in Hebrew:
lechem, lekh’-em;; food (for man or beast), especially bread, or grain (for making it):—(shew-) bread,
from H3898 lâcham, law-kham’; a primitive root; to feed on; figuratively, to consume; by implication, to battle (as destruction)
God’s Word speaks of bread not only as physical food but anything that is needful ~ something we feed on so as to ward off destruction. Men’s main concern is to satisfy his craving for the body. Not many consider bread for the soul. Only those who seek God and the bread He gives will be fully satisfied in this life and the next.
“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” Psalm 37:25
The Psalmist would have been thinking of bread in terms of the righteous whose whole life is dependent on God and His provisions for all things. Paul speaks in these terms in Philippians 4:19
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
“The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.” Psalm 105:40
From the abundance of our provisions, we are to give even to our enemies who are hungry.
“If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:” Proverbs 25:21 (Romans 12:20)
“Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” Ecclesiestes 11:1
GEORGE MÜLLER (1805-1898): “Sixty-two years ago I preached a poor, dry, barren sermon with no comfort to myself and, as I imagined, with no comfort to others. But a long time afterwards I heard of nineteen distinct cases of blessing resulting from that sermon.”
The Lord speaks through Isaiah to His people to hearken diligently to Him, to eat what is good and let their soul delight in fatness (Isaiah 55:2).
“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:” Isaiah 55:10
“Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?” Isaiah 58:7
The Lord speaks through Amos of a famine of His Word.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God,
that I will send a famine in the land,
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord:”
What greater verse than this from the Old Testament can describe the need for the sustenance of true life. We understand the hunger and thirst that is satisfied only by the words of the Lord. And what a refreshing we come to in the New Testament with the Living Word of God, His Son, Jesus Christ, who gives Himself as that bread of life.
From this Greek definition, it seems that bread was considered as one loaf not to be cut but broken. This would describe the body of Christ given for us in His sacrifice for us and in the communion of the Lord’s Supper and the breaking of bread.
“And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:3-4
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11
Jesus taught His disciples to ask the Father who gives all that we need but to ask for one day’s supply at a time. This prayer keeps us close to Him and dependent daily on Him.
The following sermon is from Ryan McKee in Northern Ireland as he is preaching through the Sermon on the Mount. Give us This Day our Daily Bread
“And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?” Matthew 15:33
Jesus satisfies all who come to Him. His life is given to the multitudes with no limitation and with satisfaction for all our needs.
The Living Bread
Let us meditate on the following verses where Jesus speaks of Himself as the true bread from heaven, that comes down from heaven, the bread of God as life to the world, the bread of life, the living bread, the bread that He gives and the results.
“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.” John 6:31-32 (Jesus quoting Psalm 105:40)
“For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.” John 6:33-34
“And Jesus said unto them,
I am the bread of life:
he that cometh to me shall never hunger;
and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
John 6:35, 48
“This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:50-51
“This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” John 6:58
The Lord’s Supper
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.” Matthew 26:26
Jesus instituted what would become the practice of those who have accepted Him as their Life. The Apostle Paul speaks of the bread of the Lord’s Supper. Even as Jesus spoke of being the bread of life, the breaking of bread in the Supper is the communion of the members of His body, partakers of that one bread.
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42
“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? or we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” 1 Corinthians 11:26
Jesus used the word bread as symbolic of the doctrine of the Pharisees, even as Paul used it in terms of fruit, both signifying the results of what men produce from their spiritual life. Instead of malice, our fellowship with Christ and each other should be in sincerity and truth.
“How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” Matthew 16:11-12
“Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:8
“Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)” 2 Corinthians 9:10
Dear Heavenly Father, your Word speaks and spreads the seed of life, watered by your Holy Spirit. We praise you that you sent the Seed of Life in your Living Word, Jesus Christ, to give us His life ~ abundant life that satisfies every longing. Send your Spirit in power to awaken our need for the bread of your Word. We thank you in Jesus’ name, Amen.