Summary of 1 Peter 5:
Peter advises the elders to be shepherds of God’s flock, serving as overseers, and being examples to them. They will receive a crown of glory for their service.
Young men be submissive to elders and be humble to all. Give God your worries. Be self-controlled and alert for the enemy. Resist him, and stand firm in faith, and after you have suffered, God will restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 10, Day 5: 1 Peter 5
13) Peter advises the elders to be shepherds of God’s flock, serving as overseers, and being examples to them. The young men are to be submissive to those who are older. All are to be humble and cast their worries on God. Be self-controlled and alert for the enemy. Resist him, and stand firm in faith, and after you have suffered, God will restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.
14) It can be easy to think you are the cause of good things happening in your church and in your church family. But it’s all Him.
15) It can be much easier to bear when you have people to talk to, to pray for you, and to uplift you in your time of need.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 10, Day 5: 1 Peter 5
In 2012, the focus was on respecting your elders and learning from them.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 10, Day 5: 1 Peter 5
The idea of the elder came into church life from Jewish culture (Exodus 3:16, 12:21, and 19:7). The word “elder” simply speaks of the maturity and wisdom that an older person should have, making them qualified for leadership. Here, it is more about wisdom and maturity than a specific age.
It was the practice of Paul and Barnabas to appoint elders in the churches they had founded (Acts 14:23). There was also the development of the office of pastor, who was essentially a teaching elder (1 Timothy 5:17) who appointed and guided elders and other leaders (1 Timothy 3:1-13, 2 Timothy 2:2, Titus 1:5-9)
Peter was qualified to speak because he was a witness of Jesus’ sufferings when he saw Jesus’ torture and perhaps the crucifixion. He was also a partaker of Jesus’ glory, probably referring to when he saw the transfiguration of Jesus.
“The gospels do not state that Peter was personally present at the crucifixion; only John is specifically said to have been there. Peter (and other apostles) may well have been among ‘all his acquaintances’ who observed the event from afar (Luke 23:49).” (Hiebert)
“There were thousands who were eyewitnesses of our Lord’s sufferings who, nevertheless, saw not the true meaning of them. They saw the Great Sufferer besmeared with his own blood; but into his wounds they never looked by faith. Thousands saw the Savior die, but they simply went their way back to Jerusalem, some of them beating on their breasts, but none of them believing in him, or really knowing the secret of that wondrous death.” (Spurgeon)
Peter seemed to remember Jesus’ three-part commission to him in John 21:15-17. In that passage Jesus told Peter to show his love for Jesus by feeding and tending Jesus’ sheep.
- A spiritual shepherd feeds the sheep. Jesus emphasized this to Peter in John 21:15-17.
- A spiritual shepherd tends the sheep, which means protecting, guiding, nurturing, and caring for the sheep.
- A spiritual shepherd has a heart like the heart of Jesus, one that is willing to give one’s life for the sheep, and who genuinely cares about and is interested in them (John 10:11-14).
Shepherds are to serve by being examples, not dictators. Pastors are examples to the flock, whether they intend to be or not.
It is important for shepherds – pastors – to realize that they lead Jesus’ sheep. He is the Shepherd, He is the Overseer (1 Peter 2:25). In this sense, the Christian shepherd doesn’t work for the sheep, he works for the Chief Shepherd.
Humility in Leaders
Humility is demonstrated by submission. It is the ability to cheerfully put away our own agenda for God’s, even if God’s agenda is expressed through another person.
The phrase “be clothed” translates a rare word that referred to a slave putting on an apron before serving, even as Jesus did before washing the disciple’s feet (John 13:4)
Peter quoted Proverbs 3:34 to show that humility is essential to our relationship with God. If we want to live in God’s grace (His unmerited favor) then we must lay aside our pride and be humble – not only to Him but also to one another.
If God has us in a humble place, we must submit to God’s plan. He knows the due time to exalt us, though we often think we know that time better than God does.
True humility is shown by our ability to cast our care upon God. It is proud presumption to take things into our own worry and care about things that God has promised to take care of (Matthew 6:31-34).
“It is the belief that God cares that marks off Christianity from all other religions, which under all varieties of form are occupied with the task of making God care, of awakening by sacrifice or prayer or act the slumbering interest of the Deity.” (Masterman, cited in Hiebert)
Satan is a lion who may roar but who has been de-fanged at the cross (Colossians 2:15). Yet the sound of his roar – his deceptive lies – are still potent and he has the power to devour souls and rob Christians of effectiveness.
Psalm 91:3 suggests that Satan may come against us like a fowler, one who captures birds. The fowler is always quiet and secretive, never wanting to reveal his presence. 2 Corinthians 11:14 tells us that Satan can come as an angel of light, appearing glorious, good, and attractive. Yet other times, Peter tells us, Satan comes against us like a roaring lion, loud and full of intimidation.
We note Satan’s goal: seeking whom he may devour.
“Scripture urges believers to flee from various evils (1 Corinthians 6:18; 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22), but nowhere are they advised to flee from the devil. That would be a futile effort.” (Hiebert)
Resist comes from two ancient Greek words: stand and against. Peter tells us to stand against the devil. Satan can be set running by the resistance of the lowliest believer who comes in the authority of what Jesus did on the cross.
We are never alone in our spiritual warfare.
Conclusion of 1 Peter 5
The end portion was probably written by Peter’s own hand, after he (according to the custom of the day) had dictated the bulk of the letter to Silvanus. This man Silvanus was probably the same one known as Silas in many of Paul’s letters.
She probably refers to the church, which in the ancient Greek is in the feminine. Peter apparently wrote from Babylon. This may be the literal city of Babylon (which still existed in Peter’s day), or it may be a symbolic way of referring to either Rome or Jerusalem. These were two cities that in Peter’s day were famous for their wickedness and spiritual rebellion, just like ancient Babylon was. In any regard, this was one church greeting another.
i. There was of course the literal city of Babylon on the Euphrates. There was also a place known as Babylon in Egypt, and it was a Roman military fortress near the present city of Cairo. Yet many think that Peter meant “Babylon” in a symbolic sense to represent the city of Rome. As a Biblical concept, “Babylon” as the city of this world stands in contrast to “Jerusalem” as the city of God. He may have meant Rome as Babylon as “the center of worldliness.”
This verse connects Mark with Peter, apparently the same Mark of Acts 12:12, 12:25, and 15:37-39. When the style and perspective of the Gospel of Mark are taken into account, many believe that Peter was Mark’s primary source of information for his gospel.
“It should be noted that the apostles did not originate that form of greeting [kissing]; the custom already prevailed. They sanctioned its use as a sincere expression of Christian love.” (Hiebert)