Bread and Its Spiritual Significance

Updated on August 21, 2020
revmjm profile image

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

"Let's Break Bread Together"

Bread is not just a natural food to satisfy your physical body, but it is also a spiritual food for a person's spirit as well. It is a symbol in every religion because it is both a way of sustaining the body and a reminder of basic blessings.

Often, the word "bread" is used to be more than just a piece of bread. It includes the entire meal. How many times has someone said to you, "Let's break bread together?" Surely, the meal was not limited to just bread.

Bread: The Staff of Life

Bread is called the staff of life because it is the very basic food that supports life. When people can't get other foods, a small piece of bread will provide nourishment.

According to Loaves and Fishes, Joseph A. Grassi says, "To eat bread is to taste the very source of all bread and nourishment which is God Himself because it was God who created the earth, plants, and especially wheat as the staff of life."

Bread in the Old Testament

Most people know that the Israelites were fed manna in the wilderness because they were traveling and were unable to plant gardens. "Manna" is simple bread from heaven. As soon as they reached the promised land, the manna ceased because they became self-sufficient in one place and could build houses and plant their own crops.

In Deuteronomy 8:3, the scripture about bread has deep symbolism: "A person does not live by bread alone but by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

The creative word that God spoke concerning bread makes all of life, bread, and nourishment possible. That's why it is so appropriate to say a blessing over the food you eat. That is to acknowledge that God is the ultimate source of the nourishment you are about to receive.

In the gospels, Jesus said grace and pronounced a blessing every time He fed the multitude a meal consisting of bread and fish. He did the same thing when He distributed the bread and wine to His disciples at the Last Supper.

Bread serves many purposes in the Bible that we should transfer to our daily life. In the Old Testament, covenants were made by the sharing of bread. Peace was also established by disagreeing parties who broke bread together.

In the book of Proverbs, God personified bread by inviting us to eat bread and drink wine at a special banquet. God says, "Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed" (Proverbs 9:5). Jesus used these same two elements at the Last Supper with His disciples. Churches all over the world follow the same procedure when they celebrate the Lord's Supper, also known as Holy Communion.

"Give us this day our daily bread." (Matthew 6:5)

Bread in the Gospels

Bread is a primary theme in all four gospels. Matthew centers his discussion around Jesus being the giver of bread and on the nourishing role of Jesus' teachings, such as "Give us this day our daily bread" found in what we know today as the Lord's Prayer.

Mark establishes centrality by placing bread and its meaning not only in a long middle section of his gospel but also at the end. Mark taught that Jesus was bread for the whole world. Not only was Jesus the giver of bread, but Jesus was the bread Himself.

Luke, the only Gentile writer of the entire Bible, had something to say about bread. In fact, some people refer to his writing as the "gospel of bread." That's because he wrote so much about bread and its importance throughout his gospel where Jesus is recognized in the breaking of bread with people. Jesus even ate with sinners and tax collectors where they broke bread together.

Luke carried the theme of breaking bread together over to his other book, The Acts of the Apostles." The gospel writer emphasizes the spiritual significance of bread along with its physical qualities.

John did not write a synoptic gospel. Instead, he wrote about the person of Jesus where Jesus is referred to by seven "I am" statements. Jesus calls Himself the Bread of Life in the gospel of John.

John's gospel, like the other three gospels, points to a special meaning concerning bread. The disciple of Jesus treats bread as a source of nourishment for the whole world both physically and spiritually.

Breads Today

There are many types of bread today in the grocery stores. People also have been making their own bread for many years. In some households, especially in country homes, learning to make bread from scratch is a right of passage for young girls.

Bread comes in all shapes and sizes. There are breads for everyday eating and breads for special occasions. Since there are so many varieties of bread, no one should have a problem finding one that satisfies his needs at any time.

It is no wonder Oprah Winfrey says she loves bread in a Weight Watchers ad. She has so many to choose from.

Do you love bread?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Vandna Patel profile image


      3 weeks ago from Navsari (India)

      Thank you so much Margaret Ma'am for sharing this informative article.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      23 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Judson, I am glad my article about bread helped you with your research paper.

    • profile image

      Judson Aung Thang 

      23 months ago

      Thank you for more info about bread of life . i have been researched on this topic. it helped on my research paper..thanks

    • profile image


      24 months ago

      Thank you for this article, it helped me understand more on this concept.

      OH bread of heaven.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Oh, Tony, how I enjoyed reading your comments about eating and establishing contracts. You said a mouthful with your comments. I appreciate them.

    • Tony Muse profile image

      Tony Muse 

      2 years ago from Texas, USA

      You've done it now, you've gone and made me hungry!!! LOL

      On a serious note. Here is something that we westerners may not fully appreciate about sharing a meal. In ancient cultures, it was believed that if two people ate from the same food, then they were both being nourished from the same source. In this was they became as one and were in agreement with one another.

      Case in point: I used to work at a small computer shop. My boss desired to do start buying computer hardware from a vendor who was of Middle-Eastern descent. Before establishing a working business relationship, the vendor insisted that they meet in person. When they did, the vendor peeled and orange and handed half of it to my boss to eat. It was symbolic that they were in agreement of the term of the contract.

      In the old days, It was not fitting to share a meal with your enemies, but only with those that you were in harmony with. Jesus is the bread of life, and when take part in the Lord's supper, I believe that it is important that we keep that in mind.

      I enjoyed that article, blessings!

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks, Ralph, for your input about bread. Your comment was a very good one.

    • RJ Schwartz profile image

      Ralph Schwartz 

      2 years ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

      Prior to Christianity, the world celebrated the first harvest (grain) and the bread on Lammas each year. A successful harvest not only meant food for the winter, but provided seed to plant in the following year. It was critical for survival.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)