1Pet. 5:1 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:

Now Peter makes a special plea to the older members of the body of believers to whom he is writing.  He makes his plea as one elder to another.  He reminds them that he was an eyewitness to the sufferings of Christ.  He also is confident of being a partaker/sharer/companion with Christ when He is revealed in His glory.  What is he asking of these elders?  The following verses tell us.

 

1Pet. 5:2 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;

1Pet. 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

Peter is begging these older saints to be diligent to feed/shepherd the flock of God.  They should be willing overseers.  They shouldn’t have to be forced or paid to be obedient servants; their hearts should desire to do God’s work.  How are they to function as shepherds?  Not with an attitude of authority, realizing that this is God’s flock, not theirs.  They will shepherd most effectively by serving as examples to the flock.  Actions speak much more loudly than words.

 

1Pet. 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Jesus is the Chief Shepherd.  He is coming again.  When He comes, those who have taken the role of leadership as mature believers and served as obedient examples before the flock will be rewarded with a crown of glory that will never deteriorate.  It’s a heavenly crown.

 

1Pet. 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Peter now gives his attention to the younger believers.  He is telling them to submit to the leadership of the more mature believers.  In fact, they are all to have a spirit of submission to one another; they are not to try to position themselves as better than another in the family.  They should choose to be humble and modest as they interact with one another.  Why?  God opposes those who are proud/haughty, but He gives grace to those who are humble.  When we are humble, God is able to use His divine influence to mold our character.

 

1Pet. 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Humility is a choice.  Peter is telling us to recognize our position of lowliness before Almighty God.  Only then will God be willing to lift you up to a position of honor and glory when the time is right.

 

Mark 9:35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

 

 

1Pet. 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

The word for “care” included the idea of distractions.  I think Peter is telling us to keep our focus on the One Who cares for us; the Savior is not distracted by the other billions of people on earth when it comes to His plan and working in my life.  (Another “God” thing that this simple human mind cannot understand.)  The only way we can keep our focus on Jesus is to give Him the things that interfere with that focus. 

 

It is a conscious choice on our part to stay our mind on Jesus.  It is a conscious effort on our part to give Him all our cares/distractions/worries and trust that He will work His will in our lives and the lives of those we love.

Is. 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

 

1Pet. 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Peter warns us to stay sober (not drunk with wine, clear of mind) and vigilant (awake, watching).  Why?  Satan is actively hunting victims, like a hungry lion, looking for prey to destroy.  The terminology is not as intense, but the truth of Satan’s passion is stated way back in Job:

Job 1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

 

Sounds innocent enough, but the Lord knew what his purpose was.  He was seeking men.

Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

 

1Pet. 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Again, it is a choice on our part to resist (oppose/stand against) Satan.  We can make this choice with confidence of our victory through Jesus.  The truth is that we are strengthened when we are united with others of the faith for a common purpose.  None of us suffers alone. 

 

Christians are suffering much in this world today, but we in America have been so blessed that we lose sight of that fact unless we make conscious effort to educate ourselves about the truth.  I have heard it said that there are those who experience suffering and persecution in other parts of the world who feel sorry for us because we have it so easy.  It is the trying of our faith that produces godliness and spiritual strength.  Frankly, I think the day is fast approaching in which we will have to suffer to be obedient to God’s Word.  More and more laws are being passed that are beginning to infringe on our duty/right/privilege to proclaim the truth of God’s Word.

 

 

1Pet. 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

In chapter four, verse ten, we learned that God’s grace was manifold, expressed in many different ways.  God is the God of all grace, no matter which way it is expressed or given.  We, as believers, have been called to experience His eternal glory through the work of Christ Jesus.  This is our hope and expectation.  First, we will have to suffer a while—be it through struggling with the flesh, experiencing the taunts and/or attacks of man, or submitting to a cruel master.  The only reason God allows this time of suffering in our life is for our good.

 

1)     “make you perfect” - To restore us to the position of righteousness that was ours at the creation of man.

2)     “stablish” - Strengthen our relationship and position of service.

3)     “strengthen” - This word indicates a confirmation of spiritual knowledge and power. 

4)     “settle” – Make us sure and strong in our foundation.

 

1Pet. 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

This is just a glorious statement of the truth of Jesus Christ; He is deserving of all praise, glory, and honor and is in complete authority for all of eternity.  This seems to be something that we will be thrilled to express throughout eternity.  Many times in the book of Revelation the hosts of heaven break out in praise and adoration of the Divine—Father and Son.

 

Rev. 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Rev. 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Rev. 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God

 

1Pet. 5:12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

The Greek indicates that Silas is the contraction for Silvanus.  We recognize Silas as having traveled with Paul at one point. 

 

Peter is sending this letter by the hand of Silvanus as one whom he considers, from all evidence of his words and deeds, to be a trustworthy brother in the faith.  His purpose in writing has been to encourage the believers, and urge them to listen to and obey the message being sent.  Why?  Because of his personal experience; and as an eyewitness of Jesus’ life, he can attest to the truth of God’s grace and God’s Word.  They are standing on a sure foundation.

1Cor. 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

 

1Pet. 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

 

897. Babulwņn Babulon, bab-oo-loneę; of Hebrew origin (H894); Babylon, the capitol of Chaldaea (literally or figuratively (as a type of tyranny)):— Babylon.

 

I have heard it taught that Peter is using “Babylon” as a reference to the city of Rome, which makes sense to me according to the above entry from Strong’s.  Babylon the Great is the mother (the original source) of harlots, and any of these harlots (i.e., Rome) could correctly be called by the name of their mother.

Rev. 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

On the other hand, there was also a body of Jewish believers in the actual city of Babylon at this time.  I found the following quote at http://www.aish.com/literacy/jewishhistory/Crash_Course_in_Jewish_History_Part_43_-_The_Jews_of_Babylon.asp

During the Second Temple period, up until its destruction in 70 CE, the Jewish community in Babylon -- far from the eye of the storm that raged in the Land of Israel -- continued to flourish.

 

Indeed, this is where the center of Jewish rabbinic authority came to rest after the Byzantine Empire shut down the Sanhedrin in 363 CE.

 

The head of the Jewish community of Babylon -- who was officially recognized by the Persian authorities -- was called Resh Galusa in Aramaic, which means Rosh Galut in Hebrew, and "Head of the Diaspora" in English.

And this at http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~jkatz/kurds.html.

In the 1st century BCE a Jewish State was set up around Nehardea by two brothers, ANILAI (Anilaos) and ASINAI (Asinaios), and this lasted for many years.  The Jews of Babylon (Babylon was an empire which contained Kurdistan) remained in constant touch with the Jews of Israel and even supplied some of their leaders (e.g. Hillel) with arms and supplies.  During the Roman occupation, the Babylonian Jews rose against the emperor Trajan, the revolt being bloodily suppressed by his commander, Lucius Quietus (116 CE). 

 

“elected together with you” – Peter is identifying himself with the body of believers, all on equal footing before the Lord.  In my mind it is very clear that that election is open to all, but not all will choose to be a part of it.  The Word teaches that election is based on God’s foreknowledge.  That is the only way to rectify the truths that God gives us the ability to choose and that He is not willing that any should perish. 

 

Is. 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

Is. 65:12 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.

Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

              

Ezek. 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live:

2Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

 

It’s not hard to understand that God could know all before He ever began the action of creation and be able to map out a plan according to His will in spite of our choices.  (See journal on Romans 8:29-30.)  The hard thing to understand is why He would ever choose to create based on this knowledge.  The answer is in Revelation.

 

Rev. 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. 

 

I still don’t understand it.  I just believe it.

Is. 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Is. 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 

1Pet. 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Family shouldn’t avoid showing their affection for one another.  The “kiss of charity” was an embrace or kiss motivated only by love for another brother or sister in the Lord.  Jesus is the source of peace.  This is another good spot to give my favorite verse-- Is. 26:3  “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”  There are other good verses of course:

 

Psa. 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

Rom. 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Gal. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.

 

Amen, it’s the truth; you can bank on it.