- THE SHEPHERD AND THE SHEEP
- 1 Peter 5:1-4: "The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away."
- 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.
1 Peter 5:1-4 (KJV)
- 1Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight )not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3nor yet as ording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. nasv
It is a heart that leads instead of a heart that controls;
it is a heart that gives instead of a heart that takes;
it is a heart that serves instead of a heart that demands;
it is a heart that restores instead of a heart that scatters.
It is a good heart, a caring heart, a loving heart -
Charles Edward Jefferson, pastor of Broadway Tabernacle in New York, wrote The Minister as Shepherd for forty years. In 1912 his pen explained why the shepherd metaphor carried such power.
"One of the secrets of the fascination of 'shepherd'
as a title is that the word carries us straight to Christ Himself.
It associates us at once with Him. So far as the New
Testament tells us, Jesus never called Himself a priest,
or a preacher, or a rector, or a clergyman, or a
bishop, or an elder, but He liked to think of
Himself as a shepherd. The shepherd idea was
often in His mind...Jesus had many metaphors by
which to image forth His character and His office,
but the metaphor by which He loved best to paint
His portrait was shepherd."
verse1 elders -- alike in office and age (1Peter 5:5).
Shepherd, Pastor, Bishop, Teacher
- I . . . also an elder -- To put one's self on a level with those whom we exhort, gives weight to one's exhortations (compare 2 John 1:1,2). Peter, in true humility for the Gospel's sake, does not put forward his apostleship here, wherein he presided over the elders. In the apostleship the apostles have no successors, for "the signs of an apostle" have not been transmitted. The presidents over the presbyters and deacons, by whatever name designated, angel, bishop, or moderator, &c., though of the same ORDER as the presbyters, yet have virtually succeeded to a superintendency of the Church analogous to that exercised by the apostles (this superintendency and priority existed from the earliest times after the apostles [TERTULLIAN]); just as the Jewish synagogue (the model which the Church followed) was governed by a council of presbyters, presided over by one of themselves, "the chief ruler of the synagogue." (Compare VITRINGA [Synagogue and Temple, Part II, chs. 3 and 7]).
witness -- an eye-witness of Christ's sufferings, and so qualified to exhort you to believing patience in suffering for well-doing after His example (1Peter 4:19, 2:20). This explains the "therefore" inserted in the oldest manuscripts, "I therefore exhort," resuming exhortation from (I Peter 4:19)His higher dignity as an apostle is herein delicately implied, as eye-witnessing was a necessary qualification for apostleship: compare Peter's own speeches, (Acts 1:21,22, 2:32, 10:39)
- —Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
oversight -- Greek, "bishopric," or duty of bishops, that is, overseer.
not by constraint -- Necessity is laid upon them, but willingness prevents it being felt, both in undertaking and in fulfilling the duty [BENGEL]. "He is a true presbyter and minister of the counsel of God who doeth and teacheth the things of the Lord, being not accounted righteous merely because he is a presbyter, but because righteous, chosen into the presbytery" [CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA].
willingly -- One oldest manuscript, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic, add, "as God would have it to be done" (Romans 8:27) .
not for filthy lucre -- (Isaiah 56:11, Titus 1:7)
of a ready mind -- promptly and heartily, without selfish motive of gain-seeking, as the Israelites gave their services willing-heartedly to the sanctuary—Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
being -- Greek, "becoming."
ensamples -- the most effective recommendation of precept (1 Timothy 4:12, Titus 2:7) "patterns." So Jesus. "A monstrosity it is to see the highest rank joined with the meanest mind, the first seat with the lowest life, a grandiloquent tongue with a lazy life, much talking with no fruit" [BERNARD].
Notes for Verse 4
And -- "And so": as the result of "being ensamples" (1 Peter 5:3) .
chief Shepherd -- the title peculiarly Christ's own, not Peter's or the pope's.
when . . . shall appear -- Greek, "be manifested" (Col 3:4) Faith serves the Lord while still unseen.
crown -- Greek, "stephanos," a garland of victory, the prize in the Grecian games, woven of ivy, parsley, myrtle, olive, or oak. Our crown is distinguished from theirs in that it is "incorruptible" and "fadeth not away," as the leaves of theirs soon did. "The crown of life." Not a kingly "crown" (a different Greek word, diadema): the prerogative of the Lord Jesus (Revelation 19:12).
—Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary