“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed:” NIV
I read that, one particular year, the organisers of ‘Spring Harvest’ asked themselves, ‘What would happen if we had no big-name speakers this time round, and God were the main attraction?!’
I love the humility with which Peter makes his appeal ‘’as a fellow-elder.’’ As far as I can see, the first Christian church was not hierarchical in structure. This is something man has brought about, and oh how we love to hero-worship. Some people put themselves on pedestals, but it’s much more likely to be others who place them there. Peter did not see himself as some big shot in the church. He was an apostle, and had been highly influential among the original group of disciples, but he referred to himself as ‘’a fellow-elder.’’ He was one of the original twelve; he had witnessed the ministry of Jesus, but he exemplified the humility he is going to call for in verses 5,6. He was not one to ‘Lord it’ over others (3).
Sometimes leaders need to ‘’appeal’’ to people to be a certain way, rather than pull rank and insist on it. An example of humility is in itself a powerful argument.
Again you find here the connection between suffering and glory. It’s suffering first, then glory. Holding a position of influence in the church in those times carried grave risks. As leaders in the church, we are frequently tempted to want the glory now, and avoid any form of suffering.
PRAYER: Humble Lord Jesus, graciously enable the shepherds of your flock to follow in your steps of humility.