Everyone has their favorite Bible characters. One of my all-time beloved stories occurs in the book of 2 Samuel and it features David and a young man named Mephibosheth. Pastor Chet mentioned him last Sunday as we started this new series on “Grace and Truth.”
You may remember that Mephibosheth is the grandson of Saul, the son of David’s friend, Jonathan. We first come into contact with him in 2 Samuel chapter four. As Saul’s extended family was under attack, Mephibosheth’s nurse grabbed him and ran to hide the boy. As they fled, Mephibosheth was dropped and he became disabled. He was crippled for life.
Fast forward a few chapters, and we meet Mephibosheth again. This time, David is asking about the house (extended family) of his dear friend, Jonathan. He discovers that there is in fact one son left, and he invites Mephibosheth to come live with him at his palace. David declares, “I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.” (2 Samuel 9:7)
Picture it for a moment. Here sits a grandson of the man who hunted you for years, conspired to ruin your life, and wanted you dead. And instead of exacting revenge, you open your home to him, restore his fortunes, and make sure his needs are met.
That is precisely what David did. Every day, that crippled young man scraped along the halls of the palace, dragging his useless legs, enjoying the mercy of his benefactor, and joining the dignitaries for dinner every night. What an amazing picture of grace!
He was crippled, but so are we. We too spend a lot of time hiding from the King, fearful of His response to our rebellion. We separate ourselves from His presence and isolate ourselves from His goodness.
He was crippled, but so are we. Mephibosheth was doomed to a life of poverty and pain. The circumstances of his life were awful. He needed a break. We too often find ourselves in a series of events that discourage us. We struggle with pain, some of it physical and much of it in our hearts. We have little resources to address our needs.
He was crippled, but so are we. He lacked a meaningful relationship with the King. He wasn’t born into the royal family. He was an outsider. Because of our sin, we lack a meaningful relationship with God. We too are outsiders looking in.
And all that ends when grace appears! When, by faith, we repent of our sin and turn to Jesus, by His mercy, we are invited to appropriate the grace of God. Jesus paid the price, but we get the reward of a sweet, meaningful, incredibly powerful, relationship with the God of the universe.
And we get a seat at the table! Grace!