The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 106 of 181
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If you can see it, this verse is altogether lovely. It is one of those that impress one that
it was God the Holy Spirit feeding these words to Peter's hand. Those who were
enduring and patiently suffering for their faith, seeing the pattern of events falling as the
guiding words of Peter had warned; for them Peter now says, relax, trust and commit
your souls to God. The word `commit' is paratithemi the very same word their Lord
uttered from the cross as He died: "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit". Those
that were suffering and persisted in well doing were setting their lives along the will of
God even as did their Saviour. God, the Creator Who had all these things in mind before
this particular world (that is its furnishings, its plant and animal life) was formed, would
keep their souls so that they would find their appointed place in the fulfillment of the
Father's eternal purpose. Like so much Scripture that is not addressed to us, yet it has a
strong message of comfort to us today for we indeed have a most important place in
God's plan as Paul's letter to the Ephesians indicates. Let us commit our lives to Him in
obedience, trust and full assurance of His knowledge of us and His backing to our service
for Him.
Chapter 5:
"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" (5: 1).
Elder is a general term for one in authority either for church or business or preaching.
We find it in the O.T. and in the N.T. applied to members of the Sanhedrin and to the
Christian churches. It is to these overseers of the flock that Peter makes his final appeal
basing it on his mutual position with them of having the responsibility of authority and
spiritual equipment for the task before them.
With the words our Lord commissioned him, he now addresses these elders: "Feed
the flock". For them the O.T. was waiting as it was for Christ and Paul to declare the
position, message and sacrificial role of God the Father's Son.
"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 (readily)" (5: 2).
In these early days of the church there was evidently no organized ordination or
choice of these overseers but as today in churches in the home, it is convenient for one
person to be the leader, to pray, convene and be the one to encourage others to speak and
express themselves and above all to study the Word. Again the person who does this
leading may find himself in the position quite fortuitously. Peter is stressing that this
responsibility be taken on willingly and not of grudging necessity. Peter in his second
epistle has much to say on false teachers being amongst other things, covetous and
making merchandise out of the saints. It was to this danger that he made reference to
"filthy lucre". He makes many references to money and he must have experienced in his
day the evil that comes from, not money, but "the love of money". How up-to-date is this
evil in an age of industrial strikes!