I Peter 5:5-9 “Equal Submission”

Peter closed his first letter, a letter calling the church to live differently in the world by choosing submission to God in all their earthly relationships, by addressing the “elders” and the “younger people”, the leaders and the followers. What I find interesting, is that Peter, basically uses himself as an example. He asks the leaders to lead others in the way that he had led them, but he also asks them to be followers because we are all, within the church, following Jesus. First, Peter addressed the “elders”, which is referring to leadership within the church more than the age of the persons. Peter tells the “elders” to “shepherd the flock”. We didn’t get time to talk about this two weeks ago, but it’s important that we understand what “shepherding” looked like in biblical times. An ancient shepherd led the sheep, he went before them, he didn’t drive the sheep from the rear. This means that a shepherd went first, he did not send the sheep into anything he had not already gone through, they followed his example not his commands, they trusted his path not his push. We see God’s character in this, God never asks anything of us that He has not already done for us in the person of Jesus. We talk often about what it means to be a sheep, but probably the thing that defines being a sheep more than anything else is our possession of a shepherd. Biblical leadership does not push others to go and it does not demand others to follow, it follows Jesus’ example in which we go together. The sheep are secure because of the presence of the shepherd far more than by their ability to keep up with Him as He follows.

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