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Elders and the Victor’s Crown of Glory

Now, I encourage you as an elder,[a] an eyewitness of the sufferings of Christ, and one who shares in the glory that is about to be unveiled. I urge my fellow elders among you to be compassionate shepherds who tenderly care for God’s flock and who feed them well, for you have the responsibility to guide, protect, and oversee. Consider it a joyous pleasure[b] and not merely a religious duty. Lead from the heart under God’s leadership—not as a way to gain finances dishonestly but as a way to eagerly and cheerfully serve. Don’t be controlling tyrants[c] but lead others by your beautiful examples to the flock.[d] And when the Shepherd-King[e] appears, you will win the victor’s crown of glory that never fades away.[f]

In the same way, the younger ones should willingly support[g] the leadership of the elders. In every relationship, each of you must wrap around yourself the apron of a humble servant. Because:

God resists you when you are proud
    but multiplies grace and favor when you are humble.[h]

Humility and Faith

If you bow low in God’s awesome presence,[i] he will eventually exalt you as you leave the timing in his hands.

Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.[j]

Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy,[k] the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour.[l] Take a decisive stand against him and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith. For you know that your believing brothers and sisters around the world are experiencing the same kinds of troubles you endure.[m] 10 And then, after your brief suffering,[n] the God of all loving grace, who has called you to share in his eternal glory in Christ,[o] will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever. Yes, he will set you firmly in place and build you up.[p] 11 And he has all the power needed to do this[q]—forever![r] Amen.

Concluding Remarks

12 I, Peter, with the help of Silas,[s] whom I consider a trustworthy, faith-filled brother, have written you this short letter so that I might encourage you and personally testify that this is the true, dependable grace of God.[t] Stand fast in this grace.

13 She who is in Babylon,[u] who is co-elect with you, sends her greetings, along with Mark, my son.[v]

14 Greet one another with a kiss of peace.[w]

Peace to all who are in life union with Christ. Amen.


  1. 5:1 Peter had already identified himself as an apostle (1:1), but now he takes a humble position equal to that of local church elder. Peter’s identification with the church elders becomes a powerful example of true spiritual leadership.
  2. 5:2 As translated from the Aramaic.
  3. 5:3 Or “masters of the flock” (elevated above all others).
  4. 5:3 As translated from the Aramaic.
  5. 5:4 Or “Chief Shepherd.” The Aramaic can be translated “Lord of the shepherds.”
  6. 5:4 In these few verses Peter gives us the seven qualities of true shepherds who serve as elders for the flock: (1) They understand that they serve God’s flock, not their own. (2) They lovingly guide and care for God’s people. (3) They take the responsibilities of oversight willingly. (4) They are eager to serve, not eager for financial gain. (5) They feed and nurture God’s people. (6) They reject a domineering leadership model. (7) They lead by examples of godliness and humility.
  7. 5:5 Although the Greek word hupotasso can be translated “submit,” it is more often used for “support.” See also Eph. 5:21.
  8. 5:5 See Prov. 3:34; James 4:6.
  9. 5:6 Or “under his mighty hands.”
  10. 5:7 Or “Load upon him your every anxiety, for he is always watching over you with tender care.” See also Ps. 55:22.
  11. 5:8 The Greek word antidikos is a legal term for one who presses a lawsuit that must be defended.
  12. 5:8 The implication in the context is that if you do not bring your worries and cares to God, the devil will use depression and discouragement to devour you. Just as lions go after the feeble, the young, and the stragglers, so the enemy of our souls will always seek out those who are isolated, alone, or depressed to devour them.
  13. 5:9 Suffering, in part, comes from the activity of the devil. There are sufferings that must be resisted in faith, as part of an attack from our adversary.
  14. 5:10 The Aramaic can be translated “slight suffering.” When we are in the midst of suffering, we are convinced it will never end. Peter reminds us that all of our trials are slight, brief, and temporary, but the glory we experience is eternal.
  15. 5:10 Some manuscripts have “Christ Jesus.” The calling of every believer is to share in the glory of God unveiled in Christ. See John 17:22–24; Rom. 8:18–21, 28–30; 2 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim. 2:10.
  16. 5:10 Peter knows what he is talking about. After his ordeal of denying three times that he even knew Jesus, God restored him and made him strong. Jesus prophesied to Peter that he would “strengthen the faith of [his] brothers.” See Luke 22:31–32. Both of Peter’s letters are anointed by the Holy Spirit to give you strong faith that will not give up.
  17. 5:11 Or “To him belongs all the power” (to do this).
  18. 5:11 Or “May power be to him forever!” That is, all the power needed to strengthen and build up God’s people belongs to him.
  19. 5:12 Or “through Silvanus.” This could mean that Silas (Silvanus) assisted Peter in writing this letter and/or that he was the courier who brought it to the churches. In the book of Acts, Silas was a ministry partner of Paul who accompanied him on his first and second missionary journeys (Acts 15:22) and was imprisoned with Paul in Philippi (Acts 16). However, in the epistles, Silas is named Silvanus (the Latin form of Silas). It is believed that Silas was one of the seventy disciples Jesus sent out and that he became the bishop of Thessalonica and was eventually martyred for his faith. The name Silas is the Greek form of the Aramaic name Saili (Saul).
  20. 5:12 The Aramaic adds a clause, “by which you have been resurrected.”
  21. 5:13 Or “Your true sister in Babylon.” This is a literal reference to the church of Babylon, according to the Aramaic. Since the Greek feminine pronoun is used here, many scholars have concluded that this is an allusion to the church, although some believe it could have been a reference to Peter’s wife. Furthermore, Babylon may be a metaphor for the Roman Empire or even the city of Rome.
  22. 5:13 A possible reference to one of Peter’s spiritual disciples, his spiritual “son” is most likely John Mark, a relative of Barnabas (Col. 4:10), who was the author of the Gospel that bears his name. Many believe that Peter was the literary source for much of Mark’s Gospel. See also Acts 12:25–14:25; 15:36; 18:22; 2 Tim. 4:11; Philem. 24.
  23. 5:14 See also Rom. 16:16; 1 Thess. 5:26.

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