5:2 {3} {a} Feed the {4} flock of God which is {5} among you, {6} taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

(3) The first rule: he that is a shepherd let him feed the flock.


(4) The second: Let not shepherd consider, that the flock is not his, but Gods.

(5) The third: Let not shepherds invade other men's flocks, but let them feed that which God hath committed unto them.

(6) Let the shepherds govern the Church with the word and example of godly and unblamable life, not by force but willingly, not for greedy gain, but with a ready mind, not as lords over God's portion and heritage, but as his ministers.

5:2 Feed the flock of God. Tend (Revised Version). The Greek word poimaino means more than feed. See Joh 21:15-17.

Which is among you. The churches wherever you are.

Taking the oversight [thereof]. Acting as bishops (Ac 20:28).

Not by constraint, but willingly. Attend to the duties cheerfully, willingly.

Not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. Not for sordid love of gain, but with alacrity.

5:2 Feed the flock - Both by doctrine and discipline. Not by constraint - Unwillingly, as a burden. Not for filthy gain - Which, if it be the motive of acting, is filthy beyond expression. O consider this, ye that leave one flock and go to another, merely because there is more gain, a large salary! Is it not astonishing that men can see no harm in this? that it is not only practised, but avowed, all over the nation?

5:1-4 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.