The leaders as Shepherds
The role of church shepherd
1Pe 5:2-3 KJV 2 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; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
The word “feed” in Greek is “poimaino” and it means: to feed, to tend a flock, keep sheep, to rule, govern, of rulers, to furnish pasture for food, to nourish, to cherish one’s body, to serve the body, to supply the requisites for the soul’s need.
According to Strong’s Definition: From G4166; to tend as a shepherd (or figuratively superviser): – feed (cattle), rule.
The verb includes in one word the various offices
f a shepherd; the leading, feeding, heeding, guiding, guarding, and folding.
It is assumed that Peter might have remembered the word of the Master when He gave him charges in Joh 21:15-17 . Both words are used there : “Feed my lambs” (ver. 15); “tend my sheep” (ver. 16); “feed my sheep” (ver. 17). The KJV and some other versions obliterates the distinction by rendering all three feed.
In the Bible the word “Shepherd” is used in various ways for people. For instance Kings were the shepherd of the people. David was taken from the sheepfold to feed Israel as the flock of Jehovah (Psa 78:70-71). The sin of the kings and rulers of Judah had been that they did not feed the flock, but scattered and destroyed it (Jer 23:1-4; Eze 34:2-31).
The duties of the elders who are now called shepherd includes general oversight. Paul had earlier call them “overseer” Act 20:28.
They were asked to feed the sheep among them. What that means is that they were to take care of the sheep within their settlement.
They were nt to do their duty by constraint or for monetary gain. Even though they will pay but the clear motivation is not because what they can get from it but it should be done willingly and cheerfully.
In the oldest of the classical writers the relations of ruler to people are familiarly described as the relations of shepherd to flock. The same figure occurs frequently both in the Old Testament and in the New. In the former it is used of Jehovah, of Messiah, and of the political heads of the theocratic people (Psa 78:71; Jer 3:15; Jer 12:10; Jer 25:34; Eze 34:2). In the latter it is used of Christ, and of those in office in the Church.
In verse 3Peter said not been lords over God heritage. The word heritage is “clerus” in Greek and it is from this that the word clergy came out from. It then means that the title clergy is not applicable to a single individual or person but generally it refers to the congregation or assembly of believers. Every believer is a clergy because he is Go’s heritage. The word heritage also means portion or lots. In order words, Peter was admonishing the elders to oversee the lots or portion of the believers alloted to them in their community.
Every bishop and pastor was to feed his own flock; that is, the particular church of which he had the care; there he was to lead the Christian people by his example, doctrines, and admonitions.
What will be the reward of the rulers or elders?
Peter said when the chief shepherd is manifested, they they will receive the crown of victory that will not face away. Peter might have been picturing the type of crown given to winners in any competition which is made of a special leaves called Amarathine. This flowers doesn’t face, it only need watering is it is dry and it will comeback to life.
Jesus is our role model as chief shepherd. He described Himself in the Bible.
Joh 10:11 KJV I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
The good shepherd will not run away when he sees wolves rather he will do everything possible to safeguard his sheep. Even if it means to die fo the sheep.
Joh 10:14 KJV I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
The word “know” here is used in the sense of affectionate regard or love. It implies such a knowledge of their wants, their dangers, and their characters, as to result in a deep interest in their welfare. Thus the word “knoweth,” in Joh 10:15, is in Joh 10:17 explained by the word “loveth.” Jesus knows the hearts, the dangers, and the wants of his people, and his kindness as their shepherd prompts him to defend and aid them.
We the under shepherds have to know our flocks distinctly.