1 Peter 5:1-4 (NIV) 1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
On verses 1-4: I encourage every parent, small group leader, team leader and anyone else who has the responsibility, passion or gift of shepherding others to meditate on these verses. May they inform and transform the way you lead those in your care.
1 Peter 5:5-11 (NIV) 5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
On verses 5-11: If there is any passage I would highly recommend memorizing from 1 Peter, it is these verses. Each of these verses is so clear, powerful and applicable. Which verse speaks to you the most in your current season? I encourage you to memorize it, and eventually to memorize all verses 5 to 11. Let these verses take root deeply in your heart.
1 Peter 5:12-14 (NIV) 12 With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
On verses 13-14: Notice the affection with which Peter refers to Silas and Mark, calling them his brother and son respectively. Also notice how Peter encourages his readers to greet one another with a kiss of love, which was the culturally acceptable and friendly form of greeting one another. What can we learn from this? In the body of Christ, we are not just teammates or co-workers in God’s kingdom; we are family. So let’s treat each other that way.
Who is Peter referring to when he writes in verse 13, “She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings” (v13)? Some say it’s Peter’s wife. Another theory is that “she who is in Babylon” refers to the church that Peter was leading in the city of Rome, where Peter is said to have remained during his final years on earth. The theory is that “Babylon” was a code word for Rome so as to protect the Christians in Rome and Peter himself from any additional persecution.
This concludes our look at the book of 1 Peter. What were the most important lessons you learned from this book?
Lord Jesus, thank You for being my Chief Shepherd, the One who cares for me, who suffered for me and who calls me to follow You. May my actions speak well of You and may I always treat the spiritual family you gave me with great love and affection. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!