This morning I was listening to a respected and seasoned radio preacher. I was getting into the flow of his message and he mentioned the term explanatory particle.  My ears perk up when I am going to get a mini Greek grammar lesson. He was pointing out the word for, and that you must pay close attention to what is said after that word, because it will explain the previous thought of the text.

At that point my mind started to drift away from the lesson and started to think on the Gospel reading for the 2nd Sunday of Lent. The Gospel of John… Chapter Three…

No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

Now here are the explanatory particles

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

(I have always thought that verse sixteen was incomplete without verse seventeen. Whenever I hear someone quote John 3:16 my mind automatically plays John 3:17.)

This brought home once again how we should pay close attention to the scriptures, especially when there’s an explanatory particle, and keep out ears and hearts wide open to what God wants to say to us.


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