Instructions to Elders
1 As a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings, and a partaker of the glory to be revealed, I appeal to the elders among you:
2Be shepherds of God’s flockthat is among you, watching over them not out of compulsion, but because it is God’s will; not out of greed, but out of eagerness;
3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.…
The apostle Peter does not command, but exhorts. He does not claim power to rule over all pastors and churches. It was the peculiar honour of Peter and a few more, to be witnesses of Christ's sufferings; but it is the privilege of all true Christians to partake of the glory that shall be revealed. These poor, dispersed, suffering Christians, were the flock of God, redeemed to God by the great Shepherd, living in holy love and communion, according to the will of God. They are also dignified with the title of God's heritage or clergy; his peculiar lot, chosen for his own people, to enjoy his special favour, and to do him special service. Christ is the chief Shepherd of the whole flock and heritage of God. And all faithful ministers will receive a crown of unfading glory, infinitely better and more honourable than all the authority, wealth, and pleasure of the world.