In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. (1 Peter 5:5)
Pastor John’s Notes:
Many people in our culture glorify youth and dread the aging process. In contrast, ancient cultures honored their elders and believed that they had a critical role in leadership. The Jewish people believed that wisdom was the key to a happy life and a peaceful civilization. They also believed that as one grew in age, one also grew in wisdom, generally speaking. Peter is speaking from this perspective and calls upon those who are young to honor their elders.
But there is something more here for the church. God has chosen to share his authority with his people. When we respect those who have been given authority by God, we are respecting God. When we submit to them, we are submitting to God. This notion may initially grate against us, especially in a self-indulgent culture that celebrates self-rule. But submission to authority is part of our growth as responsible people. Through our submission to authority, we bring order to our world. In contrast, when authority is continually defied, order breaks down and chaos increases. It is right for us to challenge authority when that authority is in blatant defiance of God. But otherwise, Peter is calling us to respect and honor those who have been set in authority over us.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for our elders, for those whose life experience can offer us valuable wisdom. Help us to listen. We thank you for sharing authority with your people. Let those in authority serve according to your truth, and let those under authority serve joyfully.