Sermon Notes & References

“Our Daily Bread”

Matthew 6:9-13

July 15, 2018

A.  The Fourth Request

      1.  The Model Prayer

      2.  “Give us this day our daily bread.” 1

      3.  “Daily” (bread) 2

B.  Praising His Providence

      1.  Giving Thanks 3

      2.  Gratitude in Anticipation 4

C.  Dependency Confession

      1.  “Give”

      2.  “Bread”

D.  Community Request

      1.  The Family

      2.  The Church


1 Matthew 6:9-13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  “Our Daily Bread”

 

A. The Fourth Request

    1. The Model Prayer

        a. after we call in a very personal way upon”Our Father”

        b. and have made our requests in relation to Him as our God

            (A)    Hallowed be Thy Name – may You, God, be recognized as holy

            (B)    Thy Kingdom Come – may You rule in Your people; in me

            (C)   Thy Will Be Done – bring Your purposes to fulfilment

        c. we now come to the last four requests which are man-ward

        d. our eyes come downward from our great Saviour to our own great needs; from His sovereignty to our humility; from spiritual, to physical

        e. today we are looking at the first of the man-ward requests:

 

    2. “Give us this day our daily bread.”

        a. a very simple request

        b. but it brings into sharp focus one gracious fact about God: His Providence, even as we have considered in our time of worship

        c. Providence means that the Creator takes an continuing interest in His creation

            (A)    it is interesting that Jesus, the Son of God, instructs us to pray to the Father that the Father would do so on our behalf

            (B)    but that God the Father in turn has delegated to God the Son to carry this out, just as also the Son carried out creation

            (C)   for of the Son it is written, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17)

            (D)   “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (Hebrews 1:3)

        d. so, Jesus as the Son of God, knew very well that our Heavenly Father cares for the needs of His creatures

            (A)    one of the verses of that Psalm, from which we read earlier, says: “Who gives food to all flesh, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (Psalms 136:25)

            (B)    and in Psalm 147:8-9, “Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. He gives to the beast its food, And to the young ravens which cry.”

 

    3. daily” (bread)

        a. the Greek word translated in this fashion is found in the Bible only in this place and in the other record of the Lord’s prayer in Luke

            (A)    and nowhere else in the NT or the Greek translation of the OT

            (B)    and, in fact, only comparatively recently was it ever found in any other ancient secular Greek (that is, by writers other than the early Greek-speaking Bible students of the early church in their trying to explain this verse!)

            (C)   that is only 3 times in all Greek literature; and 2 of these in the NT

        b. so you can imagine the field day that Greek lexicographers and Bible commentators have had expressing their own opinions on its meaning!

            (A)    one early idea was that it meant above the mere physical substance bread; a heavenly bread

                 (1)    on the basis that to pray about earthly food was irreverent

                 (2)    but that is contrary to the Scriptures: as for example, “The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.” (Psalms 34:10)

                 (3)    God shows concern about food, in general, and for people in particular – this week we learned of how God fed Elijah, first by the scavenger ravens, later by the widow of Zarephath

                 (4)    next time you are reading through the gospels, take note of the number of times Jesus spent eating with people, and how many of His parables and illustrations dealt with the subject of food

                 (5)    and remember the words of James 1:17, “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, …”

            (B)    another is that it means “bread for the coming day”

                 (1)    which, prayed in the morning, means this time of day-light

                 (2)    or prayed in the evening, means the day then starting (for the Jewish day began at sundown

            (C)   and many more which are unworthy of mention

        c. but when the NT was translated into Syriac (“The Peshitta”)

            (A)    perhaps as early as the 200's, or as late as the 400's

            (B)    Syriac being another Semitic language (like Hebrew, Chaldaic, &c)

            (C)   which would have been spoken in Antioch (where disciples were first called Christians)

            (D)   the Syriac word used conveyed the idea of continual or necessity – something for which the need arose day after day

            (E)    which adds a little flavour to the English, “daily bread”

 

B. Praising His Providence

    1. Giving Thanks

        a. we all know that one of the first forms of praise is thanksgiving

        b. showing our gratitude to God

        c. in the OT there was one special offering to give thanks

            (A)    “Offer a thank offering also from that which is leavened, And proclaim freewill offerings, make them known. For so you love to do, you sons of Israel,” Declares the Lord God. (Amos 4:5)

            (B)    which has reference back to “With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread.” (Leviticus 7:13)

            (C)   usually offerings were made with unleavened bread – which is called “the bread of affliction” Deuteronomy 16:3, because of their leaving the land of Egypt (and affliction there) in haste

            (D)   but in this case, the leavened bread was a bread of thanksgiving; and it was not burnt on the altar, but eaten along with the meat of the peace offering; “Now as for the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings, it shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it over until morning.” (Leviticus 7:15)

 

    2. Gratitude in Anticipation

        a. recognizing in advance – and from experience – the goodness of God in providing our every need

        b. now praying for that need – Give us this day our daily bread – is a recognition of God’s providence – in fact “Providence” is one of the names that we used for God, for it describes His nature and actions

        c. and Jesus had already made reference to it in this Sermon on the Mount: “in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)

        d. Illustration: our burnt grass and yesterday’s rain

        e. and we who are Christians through faith in Jesus Christ, recognise this with a special force, “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

 

C. Dependency Confession

    1. Give

        a. admits that ultimately we cannot depend on our own resources

            (A)    I am a self-made man

                 (1)    usually the person who says that has done a pretty poor job

                 (2)    and fact is, that Christian or non-Christian, it is just not true

                 (3)    every thing we have, and that we are – goods, skills, health, and most of all, life – is a gift from God

            (B)    “Give” confesses that in the final analysis, that we are dependent upon God for everything

                 (1)    in a moment, like Job, we can have all our worldly goods swept away by accident, disease, and death

                 (2)    it is only the hedge that God puts around us that preserves us

                 (3)    and we are not to depend on all these things, but rather upon the God who gives them

        b. “Give” – did you know that this request is in the form of a command

            (A)    how brazen and bold that we should give God a command!

            (B)    but this is not the command of one person to an equal; oh, no!

            (C)   it is the command of privilege of a child to a parent

                 (1)    of the girl who trips, falls, commands, “pick me up, daddy”

                 (2)    it is the command of helpless dependency upon God

                 (3)    which you will find over and over in the book of Psalms

 

    2. “Bread”

        a. when we use that word, it may bring up into our minds, from one person to another, a vision of bread

            (A)    for bread comes in all shapes and sizes, from white to almost black, from soft to very hard, of many varied flavours; pumpernickel, whole wheat, rye, matzos, Challa and all the various egg breads; feeling hungry yet?

            (B)    in many places and times, the meal of a common labourer would have been a piece of bread and cheese

            (C)   so the bread is really, and just simply, a representation of food in all its myriad forms

        b. but we, if we are left to the appetites of our eyes and stomachs

            (A)    do not always – perhaps I should say often? – choose that which is best for the nourishment of our bodies

            (B)    walk through the local supermarket and behold all the items that are set appealingly and appetizingly set before you

            (C)   not to mention that in all the various fast food and restaurants

            (D)   Illustration: the many selections at VBS closing (& church pot-luks)

        c. but “Give us this day our daily bread” expresses a dependence

            (A)    little children depend (whether they realise it or not) in their parents to provide what is the best foods for their growing bodies

            (B)    (what a responsibility that places on you parents!)

            (C)   so we admit to

 

D. Community Request

    1. The Family

        a. Give us … our bread

            (A)    note the plural – this is a prayer for community

            (B)    not like that self-centred prayer

Bless me and my wife,

Our son John, his wife,

Us four, no more. Amen.

            (C)   but the first community that it includes is our family

        b. is there not here, then, a suggestion that this is a proper request to be part of our family prayers?

            (A)    a reminder to ourselves of our day to day dependence upon God?

            (B)    and a lesson to our children from youngest age of the same?

            (C)   and a prayer that naturally spreads to cover our extended family – aunts, uncles, cousins and so on

 

    2. The Church

        a. Local

            (A)    but the “us” and “our” in “Give us … our bread” should for every believer go beyond the four walls of our house or apartment

            (B)    for we are part of a larger family

                 (1)    one not simply bound by ties of marriage and birth

                 (2)    but one tied together by the fact with which the model prayer begins: “Our Father which art in heaven”

                 (3)    we are children of a heavenly Father

                 (4)    and out concern should be for each Christian brother

            (C)   it is distressing to me to see some our people who of necessity need to work very long hours, and perhaps at multiple jobs, just to make ends meet

                 (1)    especially when due to their vulnerability before employers they have to work on the Lord’s day

                 (2)    and thereby be deprived on fellowship & spiritual food

                 (3)    we should be as a Christian community uplifting these families in prayer as we pray these words

        b. World-Wide

            (A)    how many of our brethren in Christ live in the corridor of poverty!

            (B)    FAIR of our Fellowship is just one missionary organisation that seeks to translate our concern in being God’s agents to bring food to those made needy by drought, weather, or other disaster

            (C)   there are many others doing this same work, in various ways

            (D)   “Give us … our bread” is prayer for these people, and for these organisations as well

            (E)    in this matter, let us suit our actions to our concerns, our deeds to our prayers


Footnotes

Endnotes

1

© 2018 by Garth Hutchinson, Faith Fellowship Baptist Church of Aurora (Ontario): may be distributed or quoted freely, only let this be done to the glory “of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus ii.13). Except as noted otherwise, quotations are from the New American Standard version, used by permission. Various other English versions of the Holy Bible may be used in this sermon. Explanatory additions to the Bible text are shown in [braces]. Version identifiers are:

 

              AV          Authorized (King James) Version of 1769

              NAS        New American Standard version © 1960, 1995 The Lockman Foundation (usually the 1995 edition)

              NIV         New International Version © 1984 by the International Bible Society

              NKJV              New King James Version © 1979 Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers

              NLT         New Living Translation © 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust

              NRSV             New Revised Standard Version © 1989 Division of Christian Education of national Council of Churches of Christ

              JBP         The New Testament in Modern English, J. B. Phillips, Geoffrey Bles Ltd

              RSV        Revised Standard Version © 1946, 1952 National Council of Churches of Christ; Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd

              UBS        Greek text of the United Bible Societies; particularly that published in 1954 by The British and Foreign Bible Society

              WEY               The New Testament in Modern Speech © 1902, 1912 R. F. Weymouth


Some of the commentaries and resources used in the preparation of this message are identified as follow:


              Barnes –  Notes on the New Testament by Alfred E. Barnes

              Calvin –   Commentaries on the Bible, by Jean Calvin; translated into English & published in the Online Bible.

              EBC –     The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, © 1986 Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 49530, MI:

              EGT –      The Expositor’s Greek Testament, Hodder & Stoughton; 1903

              JFB  -      Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown; S. S. Scranton & Co. 1872

              Gill       Exposition of the Old Testament, Exposition of the New Testament, by John Gill, D.D.

              Kerux –   The sermon & illustration data base compiled by Rev. David Holwick at the web-site, www.holwick.com.

              Lightfoot –      Commentary on the New Testament by Bishop John Lightfoot

              RWP –     Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, by Dr. A. T. Robertson

              TTB      Thinking Through the Bible, Rev’d John McNicol, D.D., © 1944 by the author; The Upper Canada Tract & Book Society.