(Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became disabled. His name was Mephibosheth.)
When I was only 3, I told my Sunday School teacher about Mephibosheth. Buried in a parenthetical phrase in the Old Testament is a brief mention of Jonathan's son, dropped by his nurse and crippled in both feet. And then five chapters (and many years) later, in the midst of David's military victories and successful exploits, we read a simple story of grace & hope.
A crippled man.
Invited to the king's table.
And served there for the rest of his life.
2 Samuel 9
David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” v. 1
When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.
David said, “Mephibosheth!” “At your service,” he replied.
“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”
Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?” v. 6-8
And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet. v. 13
Hauntingly beautiful story.
So many wonderful parallels.
Jesus the King and me with a crippled soul.
Grace extended without regard to merit or condition.
Adopted by the King.Invited to always eat at His table.
Another parallel: human adoption.
Welcoming a broken child into a safe home.
Broken physically, broken past, broken emotionally.
Showing kindness and restoring hope.
Mirroring our own adoption as God's sons & daughters.
Grace & hope received.
And then gladly given.