1 Peter: God’s Pilgrim People in a Hostile World – Shepherding the Flock

Peter Barnes | 1 Peter 4:17-18

1 Peter 4:17-18

(a) the congregation chooses the elders, so you need to know what you should be looking for; (b) much of what is said about elders is applicable to all.

1. The authority of Peter.

– 5:1. Why read what Peter said after all these years?

(a) he is an elder writing to fellow elders; Acts 14:23; 15:1-2.

(b) he says that he is ‘a witness of the sufferings of Christ’. Peter is an eyewitness, meaning he writes as an apostle (Acts 1:21: 1 Cor.9:1; 2 Peter 1:16). Only the final act was not seen by Peter – Mark 14:27, 30.

(c) Peter says that he is ‘a partaker in the glory of Christ that is going to be revealed’. He is a Christian, which is better than being an elder or an apostle (think Judas!)

– Peter does not describe himself as the bishop of bishops or as pope.

2. The way of a shepherd.

– 5:2-3. Note Ezek.34. Christ is the Chief Shepherd and Overseer of the flock (1 Peter 2:25). How should an elder shepherd the flock?

(a) Not under compulsion, but willingly.

(b) Not for shameful gain, but eagerly. See 2 Kings 5:15-16, 19b-20 for Gehazi. Contrast with Paul in Acts 20:33.

(c) Not domineering, but by being examples. 1 Tim.4:12. The shepherd in the ancient world did not drive the flock, but led from the front. That is the idea.

3. The reward of the shepherd.

– 5:4. Contrast James 3:1. See Paul’s testimony in 2 Tim.4:6-8.