Context: Peter, in what may be a circular letter, written perhaps from Babylon, to scattered churches in Asia Minor, praises the Almighty for the redemptive power of Christ, Who fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament. He proclaims the Son to be the "living stone" of God's house and exhorts the people to be such stones of the spiritual house. Urging them to obey the powers of government and to imitate the unstained Christ and explaining a righteous life as the answer to persecution, he tells the people that the end of the world is near and that persecutions are at hand. The elders, in such times, have the task of willingly and gently caring for the flocks of God, for which duty these earthly shepherds will be rewarded at the second coming of Christ:
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.