What Did the Preacher Say?

Some must have been incredulous. Of all the sacred writings, the preacher chose as his sermon text the verse from the Book of Deuteronomy that begins, “One does not live by bread alone.” I am thinking of the penniless poor who gathered to hear what the wandering preacher would say to them.

In many Christian churches this past Sunday, the First Sunday of Lent, the story from Matthew’s Gospel was read in which Jesus quotes to Satan this same verse: “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

On other occasions, the preacher’s own words, “Blessed are the poor,” must have caused unbelief or a wry smile or hilarity among those who had no bread and were on familiar terms with hunger. Or did they? Who knows better than the poor that life does not consist in the abundance of possessions?

Here is a brief poem about how this teaching may be received by any of us.

Not By Bread Alone

It is written, “One does not live
by bread alone…”
–Jesus of Nazareth

Those in want,
who have no bread,
cannot believe this

and others,
who have never
hungered, soon forget.

Which of these,
my dear Savior,
have I been today?