Humility is a great preserver of peace and order in the church, giving to Christ’s ministers a proper attitude toward the flock and to His people a proper submission to their leaders in the Lord. There is mutual opposition between God and the proud, but he who is humble before God will find grace for every trial and power to meet every assault of the devil.
I Peter 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:
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;
3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
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.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
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.
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
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.
13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
I Peter 5:1 – J. Vernon McGee
I Peter 5:2-3 – J. Vernon McGee
I Peter 5:4 – J. Vernon McGee
I Peter 5:5-7 – J. Vernon McGee
I Peter 5:8-14 – J. Vernon McGee
1 Peter 5:1-7 – Serving One Another
According to these words Peter, though he stood at a distance, must have been an eyewitness of the Savior’s death. He is careful to speak of the glory in the same breath as the sufferings, because if we endure the one, we shall share the other. Positions of influence in the Church in those days involved grave risks, but the Apostle believed that love to Christ would induce men to take the place of under-shepherds to the flock of God, and that they would use their power with gentleness, humility and holy consistency.
The younger men may include the deacons, but the all, I Peter 5:5, refers to the entire membership. They were to gird on humility, as a slave his towel, that they might serve one another, John 13:4. Those who humble themselves in the profoundest loyalty toward God stand as rocks before their fellows. Remember Luther’s—“Here I stand, I can do no other.” You cannot say, “Nobody cares what becomes of me.” God cares, and with an infinite tenderness. He cared before you cast your care on Him! God is linked to your little life by His tender regard and care for you. —Through the Bible Day by Day
1 Peter 5:5 – Humility—the fairest and loveliest flower that grew in paradise, and the first that died—has rarely flourished since on mortal soil. It is so frail and delicate a thing that it is gone if it but looks upon itself, and they who venture to believe it theirs prove by that single thought they have it not. (Moody)
1 Peter 5:7 – Whatsoever it is that presses thee, go, tell thy Father, put over the matter into His hand, and so thou shalt be freed from that dividing, perplexing care that the world is full of. When thou art either to do or suffer anything, when thou art about any purpose or business, go tell God of it, and acquaint Him with it; yea, burden Him with it, and thou hast done for matter of caring; no more care, but quiet, sweet diligence in thy duty, and dependence on Him for the carriage of thy matters. Roll thy cares, and thyself with them, as one burden, all on thy God. (R. Leighton)
1 Peter 5:7 – Have you one anxious thought you do not bring to Jesus? Have you one care you deem too light, too small to lay before Him? It is then too small to give you one moment’s concern. Either cast your care upon Him that careth for you, or cast it away from you altogether; if it be unfit for His sympathy, it is unworthy of you. (Moody)
1 Peter 5:7 – Men do not avail themselves of the riches of God’s grace. They love to nurse their cares, and seem as uneasy without some fret, as an old friar would be without his hair girdle. They are commanded to cast their cares upon the Lord; but, even when they attempt it, they do not fail to catch them up again, and think it meritorious to walk burdened. They take God’s ticket to heaven, and then put their baggage on their shoulders, and tramp, tramp the whole way there afoot. (Beecher)
1 Peter 5:8-14 – Resisting the Devil
We hear of the adversary in Zechariah 3:1. The enemy of Christ desires to hurt the Shepherd by injuring His flock. The hunger of a lion for his prey is an emblem of the insatiable desire of our spiritual foes for our undoing. Walketh about—temptation never assails us long from the same quarter. Perhaps the figure of a roaring lion suggests an outburst of persecution, which made timid people tremble. See II Timothy 4:17.
All grace is in God for every hour and need, I Peter 5:10. We too are called to His eternal glory through Christ. The path of suffering, and that path alone, leads to the world where suffering is unknown. The suffering is only for a little while. Perfect, that nothing be lacking; stablish, that we may not waver; strengthen, that we may stand and withstand.
Silvanus is Silas, I Peter 5:12. He was a man to be trusted. Peter’s theme was grace. So he began, so he finishes; and from the church in the literal Babylon, or in Rome, Revelation 14:8, where he and Mark were living and working, he sends this message of grace, and love and peace. —Through the Bible Day by Day
I Peter 5:10—After that ye have suffered a while.
Such a little while! In the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 10:37) it is called a little while, The late Dr. Gordon loved to read it, Yet a little while, how little, how little! A little while! compared with the eternal years; with the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; with the compensations which await us in the Home of God. Though our life were one long agony, it would seem but as yesterday when it is past; a dream, or a sleepless watch in the night, when the morning breaks.
There is a limitation to our suffering. It is only for a little while; but every moment has been fixed by the immutable purpose and love of God. The hour of darkness is timed with an exact measurement. You shall not suffer one moment more than is absolutely necessary for your perfecting of God’s glory; and for every moment there is an ample supply of grace.
But remember also that in Christ God has called you to his Eternal Glory. You heard that call years ago, and have been following it through days of evil and nights of pain. But the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, and He is waiting to fulfill his eternal purpose. What a banquet that will be when God will satisfy the expectations of those whom He has called to partake of it!
And the suffering is being used in ways you little understand to perfect, stablish, and strengthen you. It is from sick chambers and torture-rooms that God brings forth his veteran hosts in the day of battle. Think not so much of affliction as of the love of Christ, and the blessedness of being like Him and with Him for ever. —Our Daily Homily