1 Peter 5:1-7
v1: Elders (Pastors/shepherds): This chapter begins with Peter addressing the elders – those who are overseers of congregations. He wanted them to lead properly. This epistle was going to be circulated and read in many congregations. Peter wanted to influence these leaders, because if they changed then the people would follow.
- Exhort: A word of encouragement, but also a word of instruction. It has a purpose behind it.
- A witness of the sufferings: Peter witnessed the life and supernatural miracles of Messiah, but he chose to highlight His suffering. What made the greatest impression on Peter was the suffering that Yeshua went through. Yeshua’s suffering influenced Peter’s life. There is a unique relationship between suffering and love. We are willing to suffer and lay down our lives for those whom we truly love. That love causes us to preserve and endure through suffering.
- The glory that will be revealed: There is a relationship between the Presence of G-d and the glory of G-d. The revelation of this glory is going to happen at Yeshua’s return. There is also a relationship between the return of Yeshua and the establishment of His Kingdom.
v2: Shepherd: Shepherds are concerned about the safety of, and the provision for, their flock.Peter is not speaking about this in a physical sense but in a spiritual one. These shepherds/elders needed to protect the people in their care, as well as to give them the Word of G-d – feed them truth.
- The flock of G-d: Shepherds/leaders need to realise that they are dealing with G-d’s flock. The people do not belong to us, but they belong to Him. One of the most important jobs of the Shepherd is not just to defend the sheep but to feed them properly – ie lead them into the right places. It is the Word of G-d that leads us to those right places. What about the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit will move in our lives proportional to our knowledge of truth. We will not be able to discern His influence, anointing, leading etc if we are ignorant of His Word.
- Overseers: This word carries with it a weight of responsibility. G-d’s flock has been entrusted to His leaders.
- Not by constraint/out of compulsion: Not because we have to.
- Willingly: There is an agreement between G-d and us. As we mature, our wills begin to line up with G-d’s will – until His will and our wills begin to look the same.
- Not for dishonest gain: The more we mature spiritually (ie begin to have G-d’s perspective on things) the less interested we become in the things of this world. The things of the world are, in fact, targets of G-d’s destruction. Do not labour for what G-d is going to destroy. Serve for what G-d is going to purify and refine, as that will have an eternal aspect to it.
- Eagerly: Those who know G-d and who want to be part of His call/plans eagerly desire to participate in them (eg Isaiah in Isaiah 6:8)
v3: Being lords: Seizing control.
- Being examples to the flock: Live in a way that the flock will imitate. Live in a way that others know that you are living right before G-d. It was not pride, but humility, that led Paul to say: “Imitate me, as I imitate Messiah”. A true servant becomes like their master (1 Cor 4:16, 1 Cor 11:1)
v4: Chief Shepherd appears: This is speaking about the return of Messiah when He comes to set things in order.
- You will receive the crown: He recognises what we have done, and our rewards (NOT our salvation) are based on our performance (Commission principle, see 1 Peter 1:9)
v5: Younger people: Peter’s attention shifts from the elders to the younger people.
- Submit: Submission to authority is foundational in G-d’s house. If we do not recognise G-dly authority nothing is going to be done. We will not be in a congregation that walks in the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
- Be clothed or Gird yourselves: This is a posture for service.
- G-d resists (is anti to or opposes) the proud: If we are prideful G-d is not going to use us. If we are focussed on our own objectives, then we are not servants of G-d.
- Grace: Peter is not speaking here about the grace that saves – as we have already received that grace. This is the grace that moves us into G-d’s will and into the fulfilment of the purposes of G-d.
v6: Humble yourselves under the mighty hand: When we are humble, G-d places upon us power and also His authority. G-d will never give His authority to those who are not humble. (Proud) People may take authority, but it is NOT G-d’s authority.
- Exalt: This word is also related to a revealing. G-d will use someone or reveal someone for a purpose – a position of authority in order to do something. We need to prepare ourselves in order to be positioned by G-d so that we are able to accomplish His purposes. All of this is getting us ready for service.
- In due time/in season: The Bible speaks a great deal about seasons.
v7: Care (worry or anxiety): This is a word of pressure and stress. At times we all feel stress and anxiety. How do we step away from that? When we are in a position where we are experiencing G-d’s provision and His Presence in our lives all the things which are placed upon us by the enemy (feelings of stress, anxiety etc) are removed. Walking in obedience is the weapon against stress and anxiety.