Give us this day our daily bread. – Matthew 6:11
Meaning of Matthew 6:11
The verse Matthew 6:11 is part of the Lord’s prayer, which starts in Mathew chapter 6, verse 9, and ends in verse 13. However, neither book of Matthew nor the book of Luke ends the prayer with ‘for thine is kingdom’, the power and the glory’, which was added later. The verse is also a first request in the Lord’s prayers after the praise or adoration to God. The meaning of Matthew 6:11 is asking God to supply food and all the needs to sustain in prayer. The verse also means that Christians must always depend on God to provide for their needs.
Interpretations of Matthew 6:11
The verse Matthew 6:11 is one of the phrases in the Lord’s prayer. A few interpretations of Matthew 6:11 are given below.
Interpretation #1 A person doesn’t have to work
In this interpretation, the Christian takes the verse ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ in a literal sense. He or she believes that a person does not have to worry about earning an income as God will either provide their food directly or use another person in their surroundings to help them. Also, the Levites in the Old Testament and priests or evangelists in the current day are not meant to work or earn their livelihood. They are commanded and expected to depend on the amount given by their synagogue and congregation.
Interpretation #2 Christians must not plan on savings
Here the verse is likely believed by the community who believe in ‘one day at a time’ attitude. This interpretation implies that the verse ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ means that a Christian must trust in God for their provisions. They may still work or earn. However, instead of saving money for the future, they spend on their present needs and are also encouraged to donate to churches and missionary works.
Interpretation #3 Pray for the necessities
In this interpretation, the reader understands that the verse ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ is a part of prayer. Also, the churches use this version to teach that a Christian must use this verse to ask for earthly needs or physical needs. Here the word ‘daily’ emphasizes that he or she must ask God for sufficient needs instead of more than needed. The prayer can include the provision of themselves and their families. Matthew 6:11 also suggests that a Christian must understand the difference between wants and needs. The reader also understands the importance of having total dependence on God.
Historical background of Matthew 6:11
According to the timeline, the Sermon on the Mount happened around 27 A.D. The author Matthew recorded Jesus’ ministry from the beginning. Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7 cover the entire Sermon on the Mount. Matthew Chapter 6 highlights the importance of charity, the lord’s prayer, and methods of fasting, along with topics like purity and priorities. Matthew 6:11 is also one of the most important verses spoken by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and is a part of the Lord’s Prayer that gives a template to all Christians to pray.
Literary Devices of Matthew 6:11
As an important part of the Lord’s Prayer, the verse is also short and rich in literary devices. A few literary devices of Matthew 6:11 are given below.
Alliteration – Despite the short verse, the verse has one consonant sound at the beginning of the word in repetition without quick succession. For example, the sound of /d/ in ‘Give us this day our daily bread’.
Assonance – The verse also uses one vowel sound in repetition. For example, the sound of /i/ in ‘Give us this day our daily bread’.
Hyperbole – The verse is also an example of hyperbole as it exaggerates the part of ‘daily bread’ as God will give the petitioner food every day without working hard.
Synecdoche – The verse Matthew 6:11 is also a good example of synecdoche, as the entire sentence in verse is a reference to daily food.