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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

1 Peter 5

Verses 1-14

Chapter 5

Now the elders [the overseers] which are among you I exhort, because I am also an elder [or an overseer, an older man], and I am a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and I'm also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed ( 1 Peter 5:1 ):

Peter witnessed the death of Jesus Christ. I was a witness, he said. And also he was a partaker of the glory. On the mount of transfiguration, he saw Jesus transfigured, Moses and Elijah talking with Him of the things of the kingdom. And Peter was so stoked by this experience. He said, Oh Lord, you know, let's just build three tabernacles, let's just stay right here. You know, let's not go down from this place. This is beautiful. Let's live in the kingdom. I don't want to get back to that old world. Let's just live here in the kingdom, the glory. I was a partaker of the glory that's going to be revealed. The Lord sort of took him in a time machine on out to the future, the glory of the kingdom and he was a partaker for a time in it. His exhortation,

Feed the flock of God which is among you ( 1 Peter 5:2 ),

When Jesus confronted Peter in the twenty-first chapter of John, after His resurrection, He told the disciples to meet Him in Galilee. And they came up to Galilee and Jesus didn't show up, and Peter said, Well, I'm going to go fishing. The others said, Ah, we'll go with you. And so they went out and they fished all night and caught nothing. And on the morning, Jesus was standing on the shore and He called out, He said, Catch anything? Nah. Why don't you throw your nets out on the other side? And so they threw their nets out on the other side and immediately the nets were full of great fish, so heavy they couldn't even pull them into the boat. Now when John saw that they couldn't pull in the nets because of the multitude of fish, he said to Peter, It's the Lord.

And so Peter grabbed his fishing coat because he was naked, he dove in and swam ashore. The other disciples got in a little rowboat and they rowed on into shore dragging the net with them. And when they got to shore, they found that Jesus already had a fire built, there were coals, bed of coals, and He had some fish on them. And He said, Come on and eat. And then He said to Peter, "Peter, do you love Me more than these?" Now the "these" is a problem. Was Jesus talking about the fish, or was He talking about the disciples?

You see, the last time before His death that He was having a conversation with His disciples, He said, All of you are going to be offended tonight because of Me. And Peter said, Lord, though they are all offended, I will never be offended. So basically Peter was saying, Lord, I love You more than they do. Though they're all offended, I'll never be offended. He's bragging. And Jesus said, Peter, before the cock crows, you'll deny Me three times. They could kill me and I'll never deny You. And so he's, in a sense, saying I love You more than them.

And so Jesus could have been indicating the disciples, Do you love Me more than these, Peter? Or He could have been talking about those fish because they represented the old life, the life from which you've been called. And catching 153 great fish with one toss of the net is pretty much the epitome of success in your old chosen field. Peter, do you love Me more than the epitome of success in your chosen field? Either one is a very probing question. And (Jesus said), Lord, you know that I, I'm very fond of You. And Jesus said then, Feed My sheep. Three times He asked the question and it could be because Peter denied Him three times that He was giving him three times an opportunity to say, Yes, Lord, I love You. But each time Jesus responded, Feed My sheep.

Jesus had said to Peter one time, Peter, Satan has desired you that he might sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you. And when you are converted, strengthen your brethren. Feed My sheep. That was the calling that God gave to Peter. And that is the peak, the calling that Peter now passes on to the elders. And I do feel that this is one of the most important exhortations to any and all ministers is to "feed the flock of God which is among you."

I think that that is the perennial call of God to every minister, to feed the flock of God. And I think one of the greatest tragedies in the church today is that there are so few pastors who really feed the flock of God with the Word of God that will nourish their souls unto eternal life. You know the flock of God gets fed all kinds of hodgepodge. You know you can go to church and get good doses of psychology, and philosophy, but to really just be fed the Word of God is a rare thing. "Feed the flock of God which is among you."

taking the oversight, not by constraint ( 1 Peter 5:2 ),

That is, not under pressure.

but willingly; and not for filthy lucre's sake, but of a ready mind ( 1 Peter 5:2 );

He's warning against professionalism in the ministry. Warning against an emphasis upon money. Warning against really the prostituting of the gifts of God for your own enrichment. "Not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind."

Neither as being a lord over God's heritage ( 1 Peter 5:3 ),

The Shepherding doctrine concept; warning against that.

but be an example to the flock ( 1 Peter 5:3 ).

That was Paul's exhortation to Timothy, wasn't it? "Be thou an example unto the believer" ( 1 Timothy 4:12 ). And the minister should indeed be an example of that which he declares to the people.

And when the chief Shepherd [that is, Jesus Christ] shall appear, you will receive a crown of glory that fades not away ( 1 Peter 5:4 ).

Now there are promises of the crown of life in the scripture and here is the promise to those who minister to the body of Christ, a crown of glory.

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves to the older men. Yes, all of you be in subjection to each other, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud ( 1 Peter 5:5 ),

Now you want God to be resisting you? It's interesting how that throughout the whole Scriptures, God has such an abhorrence towards pride. And yet pride is such a common thing among men. "God resists the proud." Six things God hates: yes, there are seven that are an abomination unto him: "A proud look" ( Proverbs 6:16-17 ). God hates it; it's an abomination. "Pride goeth before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" ( Proverbs 16:18 ). Be clothed with humility for God resists the proud but He,

gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, and he will exalt you in due time ( 1 Peter 5:5-6 ):

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up" ( James 4:10 ). "He that exalteth himself shall be abased; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" ( Matthew 23:12 ). So much is said concerning our attitudes towards ourselves, which is reflected in our attitudes towards others.

Casting all your care on him; for he careth for you ( 1 Peter 5:7 ).

Two different Greek words. The first one should be translated perhaps anxiety. Casting all your anxieties upon Him. The second Greek word is used as of a shepherd watching over his flock. For he is watching over you with concern, loving concern. So "casting all of your anxieties on him; because he watches over you with loving concern."

Be sober, be vigilant; [On guard.] because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, is walking about, seeking whom he may devour ( 1 Peter 5:8 ):

The sons of God were appearing before God in the book of Job, chapter one, and God --Satan also came with Him; and God said to Satan, Where have you been? And he said, Going to and fro throughout the earth, walking up and down in it. Here Peter tells us that your adversary, the devil, walking around like a roaring lion, just looking for whom he can devour. You have to be on guard. Be sober, be on guard and resist him.

Whom resist stedfast in the faith ( 1 Peter 5:9 ),

Remember in our lesson in James, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" ( James 4:7 ).

Now there's an interesting thing about our own mental attitudes. And we can be defeated before we ever get to a problem because we've taken that kind of a mental attitude towards it. And with Satan, we think of his power and his cunning and all and we think, Oh man, Satan's attacking me. You know, we just sort of melt. You know, thinking, What can I do, you know; he's so tough, he's so powerful. And we don't resist.

When I first moved from Ventura down here to the Santa Ana area, went to Santa Ana High School, and I was just in high school when we moved down and we had a fellow in high school his name was Bill Duffy, great guy, tremendous football player.

And I went out for football and I was playing full back and we were having intersquad scrimmages and it was thirty-eight on two. And I was the number three back, and so that was my call to carry the ball around the right end. And I was headed down for a touchdown and Bill Duffy, man, and you know, he's ooh, Bill Duffy, everybody's just terrified at this guy, you know. And as he comes charging over and hits me and I just sort of just Oh, Bill Duffy, pleasure to be tackled by this guy. I mean, he's sort of, you know, he's really great. And I just --and the coach called me over and he really read me over. He said, you know, you didn't even resist; you just folded. What's the matter with you, Smith? You know and really read me the riot act for not trying to bowl him over. Well, you know, I was so awed by the name and by this guy. Of course, after I played awhile with him, I found out that he's human just like anybody else. And so you do your best to smash him just like you do everybody else, you know.

But sometimes with the devil, we've got that same thing. Oh, the devil, we just crumble instead of resisting. "Resist steadfast." Hey, he's no match for you when you've got the power of the Spirit on your side. "Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world" ( 1 John 4:4 ). As Martin Luther wrote in his song, The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not at him. One little word will wipe him out. The name of Jesus. Hey, you got authority and power over him and he is no match for you in Christ. So "resist him steadfastly." Don't just give in. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." Going about like a roaring lion, he scares us to death with his roar. But "resist steadfast in the faith,"

knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are all over the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory ( 1 Peter 5:9-10 ).

Oh, I love that. The God of all grace, He has called you unto His eternal glory. Paul tells us that in the ages to come, He might be revealing unto you what is the "exceeding riches of his love and his kindness towards you in Christ Jesus" ( Ephesians 2:7 ). He's called you unto the eternal glory. Paul prayed for the Ephesians that they might know what is the hope of their calling. God has called you to eternal glory. He's called you to share His eternal kingdom with Him in that glorious kingdom, world without end; kingdom of righteousness and love and peace and blessing. Joy eternal. "But the God of all grace, who has called us unto his eternal glory,"

by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered for a little while, make you mature ( 1 Peter 5:10 ),

And that's the effect of suffering. It has a way of causing us to grow up. It has, as its effect, the maturing of our lives in Christ.

Stablishing you, strengthening you, and settling you ( 1 Peter 5:10 ).

That's our traits of maturity.

To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen ( 1 Peter 5:11 ).

And so he ends his little epistle with this doxology. And now the rest is just sort of personal notes.

By Silas, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written ( 1 Peter 5:12 ),

So Silas, who was the companion of Paul on many of Paul's missionary journeys, is now a companion of Peter. Perhaps Paul is in prison at this time and so Silas has gone with Peter, and he is the one who writes, does the actual writing of this epistle that was dictated to him by Peter. And Silas was known to a lot of these people because he had traveled with Paul. Peter had not known many of these people, but Silas, having been around with Paul, he's "a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, and I have written briefly,"

exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein you stand. The church that is at Babylon, that is elected together with you, greets you; as does Mark my son ( 1 Peter 5:12-13 ).

And this is probably John Mark who was also a companion of Paul and of Barnabas and now is working with Peter. Peter at this time is writing probably from Babylon, his epistle.

And greet one another with a kiss of love [agape]. Peace be with you that are in Christ Jesus. Amen ( 1 Peter 5:14 ).

So, Peter's first epistle. Next week, we'll study the second epistle written about six years later. A lot of good exhortation in this epistle. The purpose is to bring us into spiritual maturity, into a life of strength and blessing and hope in Christ Jesus. And may we now be doers of the Word and not hearers only because that's self-deception. You've got to put it into practice for it to have any value in your life.

And I encourage you, read again this first epistle of Peter having now the background of the study. Let the Spirit of God now minister to you its truth as He brings to your remembrance those things that we have studied, and He enriches you in your walk and in your faith and in your life in Christ.

May the Lord be with you and bless you, give you a good week. In Jesus' name. "

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Peter 5". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.