Feed the Flock

1Peter 5:1-4 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: 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; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away. 

‘Elders’ [Greek: presbuteros] presbyters, bishops, pastors, and overseers of the churches In the Gospels and Acts it generally refers to the Sanhedrin (Matt. 15:2; 16:21; 21:23; 26:3; Acts 4:5, 8, 23). In the early stages of the body of Christ, elders were the ministers and deacons, or preaching elders and business elders of the local congregations (Acts 11:30; 14:23; 16:4; 20:17, 28; 21:18; 1Tim. 5:17; Tit. 1:5; Jas. 5:14). All apostles were elders (Acts 11:30; 1Pet. 5:1; 2Jn. 1:1; 3Jn. 1:1), but all elders were not apostles (Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 22, 23; 16:4). The elders of Acts 20:17 were the overseers of Acts 20:28. The elders of 1Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5-10 and 1Peter 5:1-2 were preaching elders or bishops. The business elders were deacons (Acts 6:1-15). Bishops and deacons are mentioned in Philippians 1:1 and 1Timothy 3:1-13. The word presbuteros is also used of older men and women (Luke 15:25; John 8:9; Acts 4:22; 17:1-34; 1Tim. 5:2). It is used also of heavenly ranks (Rev. 4:4, 10; 5:6, 8, 11, 14; 7:11, 13; 11:16; 14:3; 19:4). It is found 68 times and is translated “elder” except in John 8:9 and Acts 2:17; 4:22.

‘Elder’ [Greek: sumpresbuteros] a fellow elder; one on the same level with yourselves. Peter was not the first pope, the prince of the apostles, or the head of the church, as is falsely claimed by false religions, because he certainly missed the opportunity here of making this clear to all believers. Five things that Peter did claim to be: A servant of Jesus Christ (2Pet. 1:1); an apostle of Jesus Christ (1Pet. 1:1); a fellow elder (1Pet. 5:1); a witness of the sufferings of Christ (1Pet. 5:1; Acts 5:32) and a partaker of the glory (1Pet. 5:1).

‘Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly’ six commands to the elders (5:2-3): Feed [with the Word of God] the flock of God, but don’t fleece them. Take oversight of the flock of God. Serve God and His flock willingly. Serve readily, not for personal gain. Do not be lords over God’s heritage. Be examples to the flock.

‘Feed the flock of God’ Peter was commanded this by Jesus Christ in person as we see in John 21:15 “Feed my lambs” and verses 16 and 17: “Feed my sheep” [Greek: bosko] to feed, tend a flock, provide pasture for, take care of, guide, lead, defend, govern, and shepherd My lambs.

‘Filthy lucre’ the Greek word aischrokerdos that means eagerness for base gain.

‘Lords over God’s heritage’ not exercising lordship or rulership over the flock that is under you, but being examples in utter humility and service. ‘Ensamples’ [Greek: tupos] example (5:3; Php. 3:17; 1Cor. 10:6, 11; 1Thess. 1:7; 2Thess. 3:9; 1Tim. 4:12); pattern (Tit. 2:7; Heb. 8:5); manner (Acts 23:25); fashion (Acts 7:44); form (Rom. 6:17); figure (Acts 7:43; Rom. 5:14); and print (John 20:25).

‘Shepherd’ Jesus Christ is the “when the chief Shepherd shall appear.” Hebrew 13:20 says: “our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep.” Ten titles of Christ: The shepherd (Gen. 49:24; Zech. 13:7; Matt. 26:31; Mark 14:27); my shepherd (man’s, Ps. 23:1); o shepherd of Israel (Ps. 80:1; Isa. 40:11; 63:11); one shepherd (Ezek. 34:23; Ezek. 37:24); My shepherd (God’s, Zech. 13:7); the shepherd of the sheep (John 10:2); the good shepherd (John 10:11, 14); great shepherd of the sheep (Heb. 13:20); the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls (2:25); the chief Shepherd (5:4).

‘Crown of glory that fades not away’ crowns are laid up for all who prove true, but possessed of none until time of reward. Ten crowns are mentioned in Scripture, of which five will be given to believers at the judgment seat of Christ (2Cor. 5:10) after the Rapture: Crown of honour (Pro. 12:4; 17:6; Est. 8:15; Job 19:9); crown of kings (2Sam. 12:30; Est. 1:11; 2:17; Rev. 19:12-16); High Priest’s crown (Ex. 29:6); a crown of pride (Isa. 28:1-5); the crown of thorns (Matt. 27:29; Mark 15:17; John 19:2-5); crown of glory (5:4; Pro. 4:9; 16:31; Isa. 62:3); crown of righteousness (2Tim. 4:8); the crown of life (Jas. 1:12; Rev. 2:10); incorruptible crown (1Cor. 9:25); soul winner’s crown (1Thess. 2:19).

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