You Can’t Understand Jesus Without Exodus

by Andrew Forrest

Once you have the eyes to see, you realize that virtually everything Jesus said and did came out of the religious heritage of Israel. Even the things that seem to be farthest from Judaism and most central to Christianity often are a recasting or an allusion to what we call the Old Testament. The Lord’s Prayer, for example, is drawing upon Exodus 16.

Manna from Heaven; Maciejowski Bible, 13th century. (credit:

Manna from Heaven; Maciejowski Bible, 13th century. (credit:

After coming out of slavery in Egypt, the Israelites faced forty years of wandering in the desert. But, the Lord provided. Each day (excluding the seventh day, the Sabbath), the Lord made provision for “thin flakes like frost?on the ground…It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey” (16:14,31). The Israelites called this strange food?manna.

God provided manna every day, but if the people gathered more than they needed for the day, it rotted. The Israelites learned, therefore, to trust God for each day’s provision.

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray “Give us this day our daily bread,” he was reminding them of the manna God provided in the wilderness.

When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we pray for God to give us what we need to make it through the day: nothing more, nothing less.

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Paul Ditto September 12, 2014 - 11:10 am

I have to confess, sometimes I pray for more than what I need.

Andrew Forrest September 12, 2014 - 2:48 pm

Me too.


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