The Literary Setting of 1 Peter 5:1-4
Leading up to this passage, Peter has acknowledged the difficulty these churches are facing. These Christians were experiencing real suffering, and Peter was well aware that their suffering would likely increase soon. Therefore, Peter used the majority of the letter to encourage the churches in their identity as elect exiles purchased by Christ and to exhort them to faithfulness and holiness as a result of their identity. 1 Peter 5:1-4 comes at the end of Peter’s primary exhortations. Peter transitioned to speaking to the elders of the churches in order to emphasize that which has come before. The elders likely would experience suffering to a greater extent, so Peter called the elders to lead by example in response to these exhortations.