The Chief Shepherd

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. I ask for your continued prayers as there is a lot going on in my life right now and a lot of character I need to have built up. This blogger looks inside a lot of times and finds things that he doesn’t like. I pray that the Holy Spirit will be working in my life to make me more of the man that I need to be. Pray also for me in my current financial situation. I need some loose ends worked out, but I believe God can provide. Anything else that is going on in my life, well God knows. For now, let’s get to 1 Peter 5:1-4.

1To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

Peter is writing to the leaders of the church. Note that he counts himself as simply a fellow elder. This is something we see in the apostles in that they have a great humility. They saw themselves as fellow workers along with the rest of us. While James and John wanted to sit at the right and left side of Christ, we see no more of that after the resurrection.

The leaders of the church are known as shepherds. Historically, God’s people have been seen as sheep and YHWH was the shepherd and he had other shepherds underneath him whose job was to tend to Israel. Today, God’s people also have shepherds in the leaders of the church and those of us who are leaders in some capacity should be cautious with what we do.

However, what is most interesting is the reference to the chief shepherd. In the Old Testament, the chief shepherd would have been YHWH. Peter, being a good Jew, would have known that. However, when he writes to the church, he refers to the chief shepherd as Jesus. The implication is that Peter saw the one who was shepherding Israel as Jesus.

How do we know it’s Jesus? Peter speaks of the appearing of the chief shepherd. We have no reason to think that God the Father ever appears to anyone. I ask the reader to look back at the start of this series to when we did the Angel of the Lord as a Trinitarian precursor. We have texts in the New Testament like John 1:18 and 1 Timothy 6:15-16 that indicate that the Father is not seen. Therefore, the chief shepherd is Jesus and Peter here gives Jesus the position that YHWH had in the New Testament as the leader of the people of God. In Psalm 23, YHWH was the shepherd. In the NT, Jesus is the shepherd. The implication follows for Peter. Jesus is YHWH.

We shall continue tomorrow.

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