4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
1 Peter 5:4
ESV - 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
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In this passage, Peter is addressing the elders among the Christians to whom he is writing, who have a special responsibility for leadership and setting an example of Christian conduct for those who are in their spiritual charge. While their status as elders might tempt them to assert their authority over others (that is, to wear a figurative "crown"), or to derive personal material gain from their position, Peter tells them that they are instead to perform their duties in a spirit of willing (and even eager) submission and service. If they do so, the commendation or reward (symbolized by the crown of which Peter speaks, whether or not it is in the form of a literal crown) that they will receive from Christ at the time of His return will bring an eternal glory or exalted status to them that will surpass the majesty that the wearer of any earthly or temporal crown may possess. (The reference to a crown in this passage also reminds me of Jesus' words in Matthew 19:28, in which He made another reference to the prerogatives of royalty by speaking of the apostles sitting upon twelve thrones in eternity.)
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