A King, a Lame Man, and a Table of Grace

THE STORY:

And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.” And the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.” The king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.” Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.” And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.” And he paid homage and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?” (2 Sam 9:1-8)

THE LESSONS:

  • Mephibosheth had enjoyed a close relationship with the king as a member of the king’s family.
  • When disaster struck, Mephibosheth had suffered a fall and it left him crippled.
  • David, the king—out of sheer love for Jonathan—demonstrated grace to Mephibosheth.
  • Mephibosheth had nothing, deserved nothing, and could repay nothing.
  • David brought Mephibosheth from a place of barrenness to a place of honor.
  • David adopted Mephibosheth into his family and he became like one of the king’s sons.
  • Mephibosheth’s disability was a constant reminder of grace.
  • When Mephibosheth sat down at the table, he was treated like any other son of the king.

SOUND FAMILIAR?

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Rom 8:12-17)

This sermon was delivered on December 1, 2013.

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