Communion and the Lord’s Prayer

Why take Communion daily? Where is the Scriptural basis?

Communion was so important to Jesus that it gets a strong mention in the Lord’s prayer although over the centuries it has been lost in translation. Shocked?! Read on.

It may have occurred to you that the line of the Lord’s prayer “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt 6:11 & Luke 11:3) contains a redundancy; it unnecessarily repeats itself. It makes more sense to say “Give us this day our bread” or “Give us our daily bread”

The reason this redundancy occurs is because the word ‘daily’ is mistranslated. If you look at the 12 other times the word ‘daily’ is used in the New Testament (NASB Translation), 11 of these times the word ‘kata’ is used and one other time ‘ephemeros.’ In both Matt 6:11 and Luke 11:3, neither of these words is used for ‘daily.’ The word used is ‘epiousios’ “Give us this day our epiousios bread”

If it doesn’t mean ‘daily’ what does it mean?

Surprisingly enough, ‘epiousios’ only appears once in the entire New Testament; here in the Lord’s Prayer. Since the word does not appear in ancient Greek or modern Greek, it has no other equivalent. Breaking it down into its possible etymology:

epi- means ‘super, above, on top of,’ not unlike its use in the word ‘epidermis’ meaning the top layer of skin or an ‘epidural’ injection that comes from outside or above and into the dural sac.

ousia- means ‘true being, essence, substance, substantial’

Putting this together

“Give us this day our supersubtantial bread”

“Give us this day our essential bread from above”

“Give us this day our bread which has true being from above.”

Matthew and Luke are clearly not talking about ordinary bread because if they were there is no need to include such as strange word. They would simply have said “Give us this day our bread.” The only possible explanation is that it refers to Communion, the Eucharist, the bread Jesus blessed at the Last Supper. It refers to daily receiving the resurrected body of Jesus in the form of unleavened bread. Because this is such a unique bread, it needed a unique word, and it is possible Matthew copied Luke or they collaborated and Luke, as an educated Greek Jew, made up a composite word to encapsulate as succinctly as possible this miraculous bread.

Further evidence that this is the correct translation is the fact that every other line in the Lord’s prayer talks about things that are supernatural. “Give us this day our daily bread” is out of place with the clear spiritual tone and requests of the rest of the prayer. If however it means “Give us this day your resurrection life through Communion,” it makes much more sense.

If this is the correct interpretation, then taking Communion is not just an optional, once-in-a-while event but a strong directive to do so daily from the Lord himself. It is no wonder then that the early Church ‘broke bread’ daily (Act 2:46). 

For a more thorough understanding of the importance of communion in healing and why it can’t be neglected, read “Communion Resurrected”