Man shall not live by bread alone

one loaf

I have heard people say they have read the whole bible and some may have read it several times over and in my teens, I used to envy them. It was daunting to read 66 books that have over a thousand chapters in all and at that time, most bibles were of the old english language known as the King James version so it was even harder to read or understand. Soon and thankfully more `current’ english versions became readily available such as, the good news and living bible, and the new international versions.

Just reading the bible is not the point really. I realised that even though I have read some of the books in the bible several times over the years, the words I read before will have a different impact or effect on me when I read them again at another time. This opened my eyes to the meaning of some of the often quoted verses or phrases from the bible such as in Matthew chapter 4 verse 4 when Jesus answered, “it is written,`Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Prior to this, Jesus had been in the desert for 40 days and nights. He had been fasting and became hungry so the devil tempted him and said, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

The past two posts, 5000 and 4000 which represented the numbers of people that Jesus fed with 5 and 7 loaves of bread respectively, showed how much God can do with so little that we have. We might think the disciples would have gotten the idea after this two major miracle episodes. However, when they went on a boat to another place with Jesus, and discovered they had forgotten to bring bread and had only one loaf on the boat, “.. they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread.” (Mark 8:16). If you read on verses 17 to 21 you will find Jesus asking them several questions, such as “Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?”. 

Increasingly, I see why the bible is also called the LIVING word and why the need for us to meditate on it day and night. Food like bread will not give life as we think it does. What then is food or life? In John 4:34, “Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”

Here I ask myself these questions:

  • What is that `one loaf of bread’ or the lack of it that I am worried or fussing about?
  • How am I reading the word of God?