One of my favorite things about Scripture is how every single story points back to Jesus. Even in the Old Testament where you would think there is no trace of Jesus, He is there. God is the proud Father of a perfect Son, and the entire Bible proves it. Quietly tucked into 2 Samuel is a beautiful story about the unmerited grace of our Savior.
It is the story of my life, and if you are a child of God, it is the story of yours, too.
Plucked from sheep-farming fields by God at a very young age, unsuspecting David was raised up from his lowly position as a shepherd and anointed to be the next king over God’s chosen people. Although God chose David to be king, he did not come by the throne easily, and his enemies were very real. As David rose to power as the next king of Israel, God had rejected its current king, Saul, and King Saul was not too fond of that situation. So, Saul made it his personal (and eventually unsuccessful) mission to kill David.
In a way only a God-sized plan could come together, David actually found great friendship with Saul’s son, Jonathan, the biological heir to the throne of Israel. Because Jonathan loved David as he loved himself (1 Samuel 18:4), he actually protected David from his father’s wrath (1 Samuel 19:2-6). In the years after both Saul and Jonathan had died, David searched out any of their living relatives so he could show kindness to them in honor of his best friend, Jonathan. A former servant of Saul informed David that one of Jonathan’s sons, Mephibosheth, though crippled in both feet, was still alive. Still, David immediately sent for Mephibosheth.
Can you imagine what Mephibosheth was thinking when King David sent for him? In those times, it was not uncommon for kings to kill off the entire bloodline of their enemies. I am sure the ride to David’s royal castle was the longest of his life. He was probably replaying in his mind the stories he knew about his grandfather continually pursuing David to kill him, all the while devising a plan to show David that he himself was not his foe. When he arrived and was brought into David’s presence, the Bible says that Mephibosheth fell to his face before David and surrendered himself to David as his servant.
David met Mephibosheth with the same beautiful words Jesus would later speak to his followers over and over again: “Do not fear” (2 Samuel 9:7a, ESV). David went on to explain that he planned to show him kindness for the sake of his father Jonathan — not to mention that David would also restore his land and invite him to eat at his table, the king’s table.
I can just envision Mephibosheth’s face of relief. David didn’t want to harm Mephibosheth — he wanted to bless him. Mephibosheth had done nothing to deserve being honored by the King of Israel, yet David wanted to show him favor because of his love for Jonathan.
“So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table.” 2 Samuel 9:13
Mephibosheth’s story is our story. Our King sent for us by sending His Son, Jesus. While we were still His enemy and didn’t stand a chance, while we were a crippled disgrace, He brought us to Himself to bless us. Mephibosheth’s only saving grace was the love David had for his friend Jonathan, just as our only saving grace was the blood of Jesus, an act of love that served as the ultimate sacrifice. And because of that sacrifice, we, too, are completely made righteous, forever holding our own places at the King’s table.