When a golfer yells “fore!” that golfer is telling everyone to pay attention and watch out. Now when the writers of the New Testament say “for” it is often for the same reason. Pay attention and watch out!
Little words sometimes have big meanings. In the New Testament, that is true for the little connecting word “for.” In the Greek text, it is the word gar, and it alerts the reader to the fact that an explanation is coming. For instance, a statement is made, and then the author says, “for.” What follows is a fuller explanation of what was just said.
Now this can be clearly seen in one of the great passages on spiritual living, in words spoken by our Lord Himself. In Matthew 16:24 Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone [wishes to] come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Here are three requirements for those who would pursue the Lord. Well, the thing to notice is that the next three verses all begin with the connecting word, “for.”
So here’s how it works: In verse 24 when Jesus said “If anyone [wishes to] come after me…,” each of the three requirements is amplified in the three following verses.
First – “deny himself” is explained in verse 25: “For…whoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
Second – “take up his cross” is amplified in verse 26: “For…what will a man profit if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul?”
And third – “follow me” is explained more fully in verse 27: “For…the Son of Man is going to come…and reward every person according to their deeds.”
You see, “for” is the connection that ties it all together.
So – now when you read the little word “for,” you’re going to pay attention – right?!!