1 Peter 5
1: The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3: Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4: And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 5: Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10: But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11: To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
12: By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand. 13: The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son. 14: Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Peter next addresses those who are elders in the synagogues. He writes as one elder to another. First he says - Feed the flock of God which is among you. God’s elders are those who can give spiritual nourishment to believers. The word they teach is interesting, educational; spiritual - it is up building and leads to an experience of God in the believer’s life. He says take the oversight not out of duty but willingly and not for filthy money but of a ready mind. Now he is not saying that elders should not be paid what he is saying is that they do not serve just for money! Nor are they to ‘lords over God's heritage’ they are not elders for power. But they are to be examples to those who they lead. When Christ comes they will be crowned with a crown of glory - that will not fade away. Those who are not elders are to submit to their leadership. In fact all of us should be characterised by submission to one another. Because God resists the proud but he gives his grace to the humble. He reminds them to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God. They are to trust in the God, who can be trusted. They are to be sober and vigilant because the devil is wandering about seeking to hurt believers. They are to resist him and to remain steadfast in the faith. Everyone has the same struggles in the world. Lastly Peter brings his blessing. He asks that God might bring them to maturity and establishment and stability in the faith. At the end he places a post script. Silas is the messenger carrying the letter. He writes from Babylon where there was a very great number of ‘scattered’ Israelites. He sends greetings from John/Mark. He concludes with the Jewish Shalom. (Many insist that ‘Babylon’ means Rome, However there is no reason to suppose that Peters reference to Babylon didn’t mean exactly what he said.)