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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New Testament

1 Peter 5

Verse 1


To the church elders. See notes on Titus 1:5; Acts 6:3. An elder myself. Peter is an apostle, but he takes the title only of elder (which he was) to speak to them as one of you. A witness. Peter was an eyewitness of the things he writes about. Will share. As an apostle, Peter already shared in ruling the world through the Good News (Matthew 19:28 and note). Peter here looks forward to glory that will be revealed at Christ’s Coming, when we will see the completeness of God’s finished work in Christ (which stands as a historical fact).

Verse 2


Be shepherds. In Palestine, the shepherd led the sheep out into the fields where they could find plenty to eat. The shepherd did not drive the sheep, but he led and they followed. Shepherds watched out for dangers, and if a sheep wandered away from the flock, he went after it and brought it back. This is a beautiful example of the work of the church elder. [Pastor is another word for shepherd. Preacher = evangelist. See note one Ephesians 4:11.] Willingly. “God wants you to fill this job because you have a sense of the honor and mission of such work.” Not for mere pay. Some church elders were paid a salary (1 Timothy 5:17-18). This is one of the efficiencies of a larger congregation. But the elder who is paid, must do it because he has a real desire to serve, and not with a “hired hand” attitude.

Verse 3


Do not try to rule. Church elders are not permitted to DOMINEER the flock of God! Compare what Jesus said in Luke 22:25-26. Given into your care. THE FLOCK IS God’s! The elders have been called to shepherd it! But be examples. “You should set the example in your own lives, of love, humility, benevolence, hospitality, etc., that God expects all Christians to develop!” Compare 1 Thessalonians 1:7; 1 Timothy 4:12.

Verse 4


And when. “To encourage you to fulfill your mission, I tell you that when the Chief Shepherd appears, who owns the flock, you will receive the eternal reward!” [The idea of a put-in-for-life church Boss is not in the Bible!!!]

Verse 5


In the same way. Greeks and Romans looked at humility as being bad, not good. But things are to be different in the messianic community! As elders are to be motivated by a real desire to serve, so are all the others. You younger men. MacKnight understands this to mean less mature Christians are to submit to the more mature leadership. Compare 1 John 2:12-14. The apron of humility. The TEV gives the literal translation, the NIV gives the meaning. Julius Polux says the apron was worn by slaves. Compare James 4:6. The quotation is Proverbs 3:34.

Verse 6


Humble yourselves. “Since God resists the proud, be sure to humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand! Take his punishments patiently, so that he will lift you to heaven in his own good time, as he promised!”

Verse 7


Throw all your worries on him. “Don’t spend a lot of time worrying about persecutions, or whether you will have food and shelter, or what the future holds for you! God loves you and will work things out for you in ways you cannot even imagine! Do what you can, of course, but throw all your worries on Him!!!”Compare Matthew 6:25-34.

Verse 8


Be alert! “Even though you throw all your worries on Him, yet do not neglect lawful opportunities to escape trouble!” Compare Acts 22:25 and note. Like a roaring lion. A lion hunts quietly, so we see in this the fact that the Devil is sneaky in the way he tries to fool you and seduce you to sin! But this is a roaring lion! The lion roars to terrify and panic his victim and paralyze it with fear. Then the warning is: “Don’t let the roaring of Satan frighten you into giving up your promise in Christ!”

Verse 9


And resist him. “Resist the Devil (James 4:7) by being firm in your faith and he will run away from you!” Because you know. “As you well know, all your fellow believers are going through the same things here in this world!” Compare 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 and notes. [There is a tradition which says that after Christ declared the final punishment of the Devil in such clear terms, that being lost all hope and goes about eager to drag down all mankind to the doom which he faces!]

Verse 10


But after. “Compared to the joys of Eternity, the sufferings of this life are both light and brief!” Compare 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Will himself perfect you. Since this is after suffering a little while, it must be speaking of his eternal glory which Christians expect to share in Eternity. Compare 1 John 3:1-3. But Peter could also refer to the fact that the persecution would terminate at the death of Nero, and there would be a period of peace.

Verse 11


To him! Peter’s doxology. MacKnight sees in this the fact that the Devil has no power in the Universe, or ability to tempt men, except as God permits!

Verse 12


With the help of Silas. This is Paul’s old companion! He is the one who wrote down this letter and also the one who delivered it. Johnson says: “It has been supposed that Paul, then a prisoner at Rome, had sent Silas to Peter.” [Silvanus is the Latin spelling of Silas.] The true grace of God. The Good News of God’s finished work in Christ to set men free!

Verse 13


In Babylon. Probably Babylon on the Euphrates. Some think this is a code name for Rome, but history does not place Peter in Rome at this date. Alford (Greek Testament) says: “There is no reason whatever for regarding this any place but the Chaldean capital (Babylon on the Euphrates).” Mark. Probably the John Mark who wrote the Gospel.

Verse 14


With the kiss. See note on Romans 16:16.

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Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Peter 5". "The Bible Study New Testament". College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.