Peter wraps up his letter with instruction for the church community. First, by exhorting the elders to shepherd the sheep God has entrusted to them with a care that happily looks to the best interest of the sheep, not the shepherd; for this God has a great reward for his under-shepherds. This means too, that the sheep need to follow the elders' lead. Humility is to be the distinguishing mark of the church as a whole, for God stands against human pride. God's aim is not to have a down-trodden people, but to exalt those who have dropped their self-serving pride. Humility then, particularly in the context of suffering, is to throw all one's fears, indeed one's whole life under the diligent care of the Lord. Peter pushes further, recognizing that the Christian life is not a passive, "let go and let God." There is an enemy actively seeking to destroy faith. And so he calls believers to be on high alert - sober and watchful- so that they may, in the stability of faith resist the adversary alongside fellow believers fighting the same battle all over the world. Peter crowns these instructions - and the whole letter with a view, once again, to the ultimate end of all things including suffering. His words are direct and personal: God, the sum and source of all grace, the one who has summoned you to join in his Son's own eternal glory - this God will himself restore you, confirm you, strengthen you, establish you. To this God be full dominion forever and ever. Amen! Insights: Consider this passage in light of John 21:15-19. Peter has throughout this letter been thoroughly pastoral: encouraging gently, exhorting firmly, offering instruction firmly grounded in Scripture, always aiming at the growth and maturity of his readers in faith and holiness. And none of this is dispassionate or disconnected as though from an ivory-tower leader, but from a fellow elder feeding his own flock.
1 Peter 5:1-11
Πρεσβυτέρους οὖν τοὺς ἐν ὑμῖν παρακαλῶ ὁ συμπρεσβύτερος καὶ μάρτυς τῶν τοῦ Χριστοῦ παθημάτων, ὁ καὶ τῆς μελλούσης ἀποκαλύπτεσθαι δόξης κοινωνός ·
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed:
ποιμάνατε τὸ ἐν ὑμῖν ποίμνιον τοῦ θεοῦ,
shepherd the flock of God that is among you, [exercising oversight],
not under compulsion,
ἀλλὰ ἑκουσίως κατὰ θεόν,
but willingly, as God would have you;
not for shameful gain,
μηδ’ ὡς κατακυριεύοντες τῶν κλήρων
not domineering over those in your charge,
ἀλλὰ τύποι γινόμενοι τοῦ ποιμνίου·
but being examples to the flock.
καὶ φανερωθέντος τοῦ ἀρχιποίμενος
And when the chief Shepherd appears ,
κομιεῖσθε τὸν ἀμαράντινον τῆς δόξης στέφανον.
you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
Ὁμοίως νεώτεροι ὑποτάγητε πρεσβυτέροις,
Likewise, you who are younger , be subject to the elders.
πάντες δὲ ἀλλήλοις τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνην ἐγκομβώσασθε,
Clothe yourselves , all of you , with humility toward one another,
ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ὑπερηφάνοις ἀντιτάσσεται ,
for " God opposes the proud
ταπεινοῖς δὲ δίδωσιν χάριν.
but gives grace to the humble."
ταπεινώθητε οὖν ὑπὸ τὴν κραταιὰν χεῖραν τοῦ θεοῦ,
Humble yourselves , therefore, under the mighty hand of God
ἵνα ὑμᾶς ὑψώσῃ ἐν καιρῷ,
so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
πᾶσαν τὴν μέριμναν ὑμῶν ἐπιρίψαντες ἐπ’ αὐτόν,
casting all your anxieties on him,
ὅτι αὐτῷ μέλει περὶ ὑμῶν.
because he cares for you.
Be sober-minded ;
ὁ ἀντίδικος ὑμῶν διάβολος... περιπατεῖ
Your adversary the devil prowls around
[ὡς λέων ὠρυόμενος]
like a roaring lion (prowls around) ,
ζητῶν τίνα καταπιεῖν ·
seeking someone to devour .
ᾧ ἀντίστητε στερεοὶ τῇ πίστει,
Resist him, firm in your faith,
εἰδότες τὰ αὐτὰ τῶν παθημάτων τῇ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ὑμῶν ἀδελφότητι ἐπιτελεῖσθαι.
knowing [because you know...] t hat the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood thr oughout the world.
ὁ δὲ θε ὸ ς πάσης χάριτος, ὁ καλέσας ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν αἰώνιον αὐτοῦ δόξαν ἐν Χριστῷ, ὀλίγον παθόντας αὐτὸς καταρτίσει ,
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore ,
and establish you.
αὐτῷ τὸ κράτος εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, ἀμήν.
To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The subject of this clause is "I" linked to the the three-fold nominative nouns placed in apposition: "I, a fellow elder, a witness, a partaker... exhort the elders"
v.2b-3b, Both the subject and the predicate in each -/+ clause is borrowed from v.2a, "(you) shepherd..."
v.8-9 & v.10, This is not Ac-Res. God's gracious, sustaining work does not come as a result of our alert resistance to the Devil's schemes, but neither can the order be switched. Peter's point is that we must be alert and resist; and then, having experienced the trial we will experience the completion of God's gracious saving work.
Proverbs 3:34; see also James 4:6
see James 4:7