1 Peter 5:2-4

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[a] 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 5:2-4 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 PETER 5

In this chapter the apostle first exhorts pastors and members of churches to their respective duties as such; and then to those which were common to them all, as Christians; and closes the epistle with prayers for them, salutations of them, and with his apostolic benediction. He begins with the pastors or elders, and describes himself as a fellow elder, an eyewitness of Christ's sufferings, and a partaker of his glory, 1Pe 5:1, and these he exhorts to feed the flock of God, where they were; to take the charge and oversight of them, freely, readily, and willingly, and not through force or covetousness; and not to exercise a tyrannical dominion over them, but to be examples to them, 1Pe 5:2,3, and the argument made use of to encourage them to all this is, that at the appearance of Christ, the chief Shepherd, they should receive a never fading crown of glory, 1Pe 5:4 and next, the members of the churches are exhorted to submit to the rule and government of their pastors, being according to the word of God; and to be subject to one another; and particularly to put on humility, as a garment very ornamental to them; and the rather, since God opposes himself to men that are proud, but gives more grace to the humble, 1Pe 5:5 and especially he exhorts them to be humble under the hand of God, since that is a mighty one, and this is the way to be exalted in due time; and also to cast their care upon him, seeing he cared for them, 1Pe 5:6,7 and then the apostle proceeds to the common duties of Christians, and to exhort them to sobriety and watchfulness, since Satan their adversary was a cruel and indefatigable one, and ever seeking the ruin of men; and to resist him in the steadfast exercise of faith, and patiently bear all afflictions, seeing the same were accomplished in their brethren in the world, 1Pe 5:8,9 and then he puts up some petitions for them, that they might be perfected, stablished, strengthened, and settled, 1Pe 5:10 and ascribes glory and dominion for ever to the God of grace, to whom he prays, 1Pe 5:11 after which he names the person by whom he sends this epistle, giving a summary of it; that it was an exhortation and a testimony to the true doctrine of grace wherein they stood, 1Pe 5:12, and next follow the salutations of the church at Babylon, and of his son Marcus, to them, 1Pe 5:13, and lastly, he desires they would salute one another with a kiss of love, and gives them his benedictory wish, 1Pe 5:14.

1 Peter 5:2-4 In-Context

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.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. being lords over: or, overruling
The King James Version is in the public domain.