Peter writes to leaders and young men
1Now I want to say something to you who are leaders of the groups of believers. Like you, I am also a leader. I myself saw how people caused Christ to have great pain so that he died. One day people will see how great he really is. Then I will be among those people who join with him in heaven. So, I say this to you who are leaders: 2Watch over the group of believers that God has given to you. Be like a shepherd that takes care of his sheep. Lead them well because you want to do it. Do not do it just because you have to do it. Do it in the way that God wants for you. Do not be a leader because you want to receive money for yourself. Instead, do it because you want to help people.
3God has given you a group of believers to take care of them. Do not try to rule over them with power. Instead, show them how to live in a good way, so that they can copy you. 4Then our master, Christ, will give you a great gift. He is the most important Shepherd who leads us. When he returns, he will give you a beautiful crown. That is a great gift that will never become old or less beautiful. #5:4 A crown is a special hat someone receives when they win a race. It shows that the winner has done well. This crown is a picture of what God will give to each believer. He will cause us to live with him always.
5I want to say the same thing to you who are young men. You must obey the older believers who are leaders. All of you who are believers must respect one another. Don't think that you are more important than other people. The Bible says:
‘God is against those people who think that they are important.
But he is kind to people who do not feel important.’
6Remember that God is strong and powerful. So, think about yourselves as small in front of him. Then he will lift you up to a good place at the right time. 7If you have any kind of trouble in your mind, give it to God. God has promised to take care of you.
8Think seriously about how you live. Watch carefully for danger. Remember that the Devil is your enemy. He wants to hurt you. He walks about like a hungry lion. He is looking for someone to kill and then eat them! 9But you must be strong to fight against him. Trust God completely. Remember this: Believers all over the world are having the same kinds of trouble. 10Yes, you will have trouble like this for a short time. But after that, God will make everything right. He is completely kind and he will always help you. Because you belong to Christ, God has chosen you to live with him in heaven for ever. You will join him in that beautiful place. Then God will make you well again. He will make you strong in your spirits. You will be able to stand strongly. 11Yes, God rules with power for ever! Amen! This is true!
Peter finishes his letter
12Silas has helped me to write this short letter to you. I know that he continues to trust Christ well. #5:12 Silas was a leader of the Christians who were at Jerusalem, along with Peter. See Acts 15:22. I have written to you because I want you to be strong. I have told you how God is kind to us and he helps us. This is God's true message to you. So, continue to believe it and be strong.
13The believers here in Babylon say ‘hello’ to you. #5:13 We think that Babylon here means Rome city (the capital of Italy). At that time, the king of Rome ruled many countries. His soldiers were causing a lot of trouble for Christians. Many, many years earlier, people from Babylon had caused a lot of trouble for Israel's people. So, the Christians used Babylon as a secret name for Rome. Like you, God has chosen them to serve him. Mark, who is like my son, also says ‘hello’ to you. 14When you meet, kiss each other as Christian friends.
I pray for all of you who belong to Christ. I pray that God will give you peace in your minds.