Peter 5:1-4 – The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
Chief – Head, leader, prince, ruler.
Shepherd – One who takes care of the sheep. Leads, guides, protects, provides, tends, nurtures, corrects, mends, finds, trains, oversees.
Jesus is over all good shepherds. He works through them to lead His sheep, care for their needs, and protect them from predators.
For a season, He delegated some of those duties to your father, mother, older sibling, teacher, coach, pastor, uncle, aunt, grandparent, or others. Now you should see through these people and know that the good leadership that they provided was Jesus working through them, and give Him honor, praise, and thanks for His diligent oversight. And you should give forgiveness where these under-shepherds fell short of the Chief’s best care for you because they were still in the learning process themselves, even as they were endeavoring to lead you.
There are many sheep who need to experience the loving care of the Chief Shepherd, and Jesus is still seeking people who will love and lead His people in the paths of life and righteousness. Do you have a family? Begin with your spouse and children, and if you are skilled and faithful with them, then the Chief will send other sheep for you to tend to. Pour your life out to see that your sheep are properly cared for, put their needs before your own day-in and day-out, and let the promised crown of glory motivate you to remain faithful in these duties all the days of your life. You will have been a good shepherd if at some point your sheep mature to find themselves transitioned from following you to walking beside you while you both follow the Chief Shepherd side-by-side.