So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Comment: People tend to want to get to the top to exercise authority and power. Jesus commented on this during his life on earth and challenged his disciples to be servants. He washed his disciples feet during his last meal with them.
Here we see Peter reflecting the same thoughts. The use of the shepherd as a type of the leaders of God’s people is frequently used in the Bible – (eg in Ezekiel ch 34) and Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd. (Jn 10 v11). Peter called his fellow elders to …
- be willing overseers, not domineering
- not be fixated on material gain
- lead by example
- be humble both among themselves as leaders and in the flock for which they are caring.
He reassured them that ‘the Chief Shepherd’ would, upon His return, bless greatly those who displayed such leadership qualities.
Prayer: I would be a person who reflects these qualities, O God. Please help me to live them out in my daily life.