“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.”
“Exhort” means to encourage or exhort. Most pastors need both encouragement and exhortation. “Exhort” is the probable meaning here. The pastors in Asia Minor needed exhortation follow some issues of leadership found in vv. 2-4 due to the duress they were facing from Rome.
I who am a fellow elder
Peter views himself as a “fellow elder.” He does not pull rank with his fellow elders. In 1:1 and 2 Peter 2:1 he identifies himself as “an apostle of Jesus Christ.” An apostle holds authority above an elder. Apostleship is the ultimate authority for the church. For example, only an apostle has the right to write Scripture. Peter establishes his authority as a leader by calling himself an “elder” and a “witness” to the sufferings of Christ. He did not usurp authority as the ultimate elder.
and a witness of the sufferings of Christ
“Witness” means to testify. “Witness” does not refer to the act of seeing but to the act of testifying to what one has seen. Peter was an eyewitness to the suffering of Christ (2:21; 4:1). Peter personally saw Jesus bound and led away for judgment. He followed Jesus into the courtyard. No doubt he saw Jesus crucified. Peter personally witnessed and testified to the passion of Christ. He spent the rest of his life telling others about his wonderful Savior.
and also a partaker of the glory
“The glory” is the Second Advent of Christ. This will be the day of Jesus’ great triumph over the world. He will be King Jesus, King of the world. Note that Peter combines the sufferings and the glory of Christ in 1:11.
The sufferings of Christ is the first advent and the glory of Christ is the Second Advent (Romans 8:16-19). Our glory lies ahead. Peter makes this same point in 4:13 that those who share in Christ’s suffering will share in his glory.
that will be
The words “will be” mean to be about to. Peter talks about the “about to be revealed glory.” Peter wants to share issues of the Second Advent. The word “will be” means to be inevitable, with respect to future developments.
“But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands” (Matthew 17:12). The Second Advent is an inevitable event.
“Revealed” means to uncover, to take out of hiding. “Revealed” refers to the future second coming in glory of the Lord Jesus,
“Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:30).
The ultimate glory of the Christian still lies ahead.
All Christians will “partake” of the glory of the Second Advent. This will be a day of great rejoicing. All the pain we face now will be over. We will see Jesus in all of his glory. What a day that will be!!