Verse 1 – The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:
Verse 2 – Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
Verse 3 – nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
Elders were church officers providing supervision, protection, discipline, instruction, and direction for the believers. Peter was a fellow elder, not their superior. His identification with the elders in caring for God’s people, is a powerful example of Christian leadership, where authority is based on service, not power.
Verse 4 – and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
Verse 5 – Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
As Christians, we are to respect those who are older and listen to those who are younger. But all are to show respect to both ages and serve with a humble spirit.
Verse 6 – Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
Be willing to take a low position and do that to the best of your ability until God sees fit to exalt you. He will do it when you’re ready.
Verse 7 – casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Worry and stress kind of shows we don’t trust Christ to take care of us. It takes humility to ask for help. Sometimes people think that because of their own decisions that turned out wrong, God won’t help and doesn’t care. Never submit to your circumstances, but submit to God who controls your circumstances!
Verse 8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
The devil is looking for weak spots and also listens to what comes out of your mouth especially about the Father. He know whether you have the confidence and faith to believe God will help you, by what you say!
Verse 9 – Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
Verse 10 – But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
Grace is given to the Christian to endure all suffering.
Verse 11 – To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Verse 12 – By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which we stand.
Verse 13 – She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.
Silvanus, is Silas, and Babylon is in reference to Rome.
Verse 14 – Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Peter wrote this letter just before the cruel Emperor Nero began persecuting Christians in Rome and throughout the empire. Peter lived by the words he wrote because he was eventually martyred for his faith.