Not by bread alone

The Verse of the Day for July 12, 2017 is found in Matthew 4:4 in the Message Bible:

Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”

The King James Version renders the verse in this way:

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

The verse is also rendered in a similar way in Luke 4:4

And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

The Verse of the Day brings to mind two experiences that occurred about eight years ago when I participated in a clinical trial involving men with prostate cancer and two types of special bread: Soy and Almond. Participants were to eat two slices of bread each day for a period of time as blood samples were examined and other tests performed.

While simultaneously teaching a writing course, I developed an analogy for composing sentences in an essay. To help students understand how sentences were put together, I commented that sentences are like “sandwiches.” As a basic unit of written communication, a complete sentence must have three elements: a subject, a verb, and a complete thought. One slice of bread could be the subject, another slice the verb, and the complete thought would represent what goes in between.

Teaching the writing class while participating in the clinical trial and daily eating two slices of bread inspired a poem that captured the application of the Word of God in a unique way:

A New Bread, a New Class, a New Analogy

Daily: Eat the entire two slices. Both slices can be eaten at the same meal as a sandwich.
Nutrition-40 Soy Bread Study—OSU Medical Center

And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Luke 4:4

Halfway between the study I eat a new bread:
No longer soy-almond but pure soy bread instead.
As I am teaching a new class, I find a way
To help students understand what I’m trying to say
When I share that “Man shall not live by bread alone,”
As Jesus said when asked to make bread from a stone.
To construct a good sentence, this I admonish:
You must build a sentence as you would a sandwich:
A subject and verb must express a complete thought.
This analogy helps students see what is taught:
One slice of bread is the subject, one slice the verb,
But “more” takes you from mediocre to superb.
Much more than two slices but what goes in between
Can be a work of art to convey what you mean.

“Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God” from the Gospel of Matthew includes lyrics from Matthew 4:4

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