2 Samuel 9: Lessons from David’s Love For Mephibosheth on Jesus’ Agape Love For His People

Introduction: 2 Samuel 9 tells of how David honored his covenant of agape love with Jonathan by providing for Jonathan’s crippled son Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was a potential threat to David. Another king would have killed him. But David was a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22). Thus, he was faithful to keep his covenant of love. The events in this chapter are real. But they also foreshadow Jesus’ love for the Church. From David’s love for Mephibosheth, Jesus reveals seven lessons about His love for you to emulate. These include: (1) faithfulness, (2) grace, (3) service, (4) gratitude, (5) restoration, (6) obedience, and (7) fellowship.

First, David sought out the descendants of Jonathan to fulfill his covenant of love. Jesus has also sought out the descendants of Adam to fulfill His covenant of love. He wants you to respond by loving others in need. Second, Mephibosheth was poor, crippled, and a potential threat. He did nothing to deserve David’s love. Jesus’ love is also based upon grace. You did nothing to deserve it. Mephibosheth lost everything before finding King David’s grace. Jesus also wants you to lose your earthly life to find the grace that He offers to you. Third, Mephibosheth humbled himself before David and called himself David’s servant. Jesus showed His love by humbling Himself unto death as a servant to God the Father and all of humanity. Jesus in turn wants you to humble yourself and become a servant to Him and others in need. Fourth, Mephibosheth was grateful for David’s grace. Jesus also wants you to be grateful for His sacrifice for you. Fifth, David offered to restore what Mephibosheth lost due to Saul’s sins. Out of love, Jesus also offers to restore what you have lost due to Adam’s sins. Sixth, David’s servant was faithful to obey David’s commands. Jesus was obedient to God the Father, even unto death at the cross. Jesus in turn calls you to be obedient as He was for you. Finally, David invited Mephibosheth to dine with him on a regular basis, a symbol of fellowship. Jesus also invites you to dine with Him. He desires to be in fellowship with you like a close friend.

1. Faithfulness: Jesus is Faithful to Fulfill His Covenant of Love. 2 Sam. 9:1.

  • David, the King, seeks to honor his covenant of love. After defeating many of his foreign enemies, David could have turned inward to purge the kingdom of potential rivals to the throne. That is what a normal king would do. But David distinguished himself from Saul and the worldly leaders around him by seeking to show God’s love toward his potential enemies: “1 Then David said, ‘Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’” (2 Sam. 9:1). Any descendant of Saul’s son Jonathan had a potential claim to the throne. Any such person was therefore a potential enemy who would normally be executed to eliminate any rivalry for the throne. But David previously made a covenant of love with Jonathan: “Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.” (1 Sam. 18:3). As part of this covenant, Jonathan agreed to support David as king, and David agreed not to kill any of Jonathan’s descendants: ‘“15 You shall not cut off your lovingkindness from my house forever, not even when the LORD cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.”’ 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, ‘May the LORD require it at the hands of David’s enemies.’ 17 Jonathan made David vow again because of his love for him, because he loved him as he loved his own life.” (1 Sam. 20:15-17). David’s agape love for Jonathan foreshadowed Jesus’ love for us.

  • Jesus, the King of Kings, also seeks to honor His covenant of love. Like Jonathan’s descendants, the descendants of Adam were all made enemies of God through sin and rebellion. Yet, like David, Jesus loved us when we were enemies to His Kingdom: “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Ro. 5:10). Filled with agape love, Jesus gladly gave His life so that all (even His one-time enemies) might live: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Ro. 5:8). “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (Jo. 10:11). “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (Jo. 3:16). His blood is the symbol and proof of His covenant. “And He said to them, ‘This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.’” (Mk. 14:24; Lk. 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25; Jer. 31:31). Like David, Jesus is looking for any who will accept His offering of love. Like what David offered, what Jesus offers is free (Ro. 6:26).

  • Like David and Jesus, bless others with the love you have received. David showed selfless love because God’s love was within him (c.f., Jo. 5:42). Jesus does not want you to hoard His love. Instead, like David, He wants you to share it with others without conditions. When you show His agape love for others, you also fulfill His second greatest Commandment: “The second is this, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mk. 12:31; Lk. 10:27; Matt. 19:19; 22:39; Ro. 13:9; Ja. 2:8; Lev. 19:18). “For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”’ (Gal. 5:14). “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (Jo. 13:34). “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” (Jo. 15:12). “This I command you, that you love one another.” (Jo. 15:17). “For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;” (1 Jo. 3:11). Even when you face a potential enemy, you are commanded to show love like David did. ‘“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,’” (Matt. 5:43-44). Do you show Jesus’ love to others?

  • Be faithful to others the way Jesus is faithful to you. God had shown His faithfulness to David by fulfilling His promises to make David king and by defeating his enemies. David knew that he did not deserve God’s blessings because of his many sins. But he knew that God would be faithful even when he was not. “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13). God’s same agape love inside of you should also prompt you to be faithful to keep your word to others, even when your flesh might rationalize why you should break it. “A faithful man will abound with blessings, . . .” (Prov. 28:20(a)). “for we walk by faith, not by sight—” (2 Cor. 5:7). “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Tim. 1:5). Like David, will you remain faithful to your vows to others?

  • Show your love for others by sacrificing for them. David made a sacrifice in seeking to bless Jonathan’s descendants. He subjected himself to future claims to the throne. Like David, when you are filled with the agape love of the Spirit, you should be willing to sacrifice for others. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (Jo. 15:13). “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 Jo. 3:16). You may claim that the love of Jesus is in you. But when have you sacrificed out of love for others in need?

2. Grace: Jesus’ Love is Not Based Upon Your Merit. 2 Sam. 9:2-4.

  • Mephibosheth was poor, powerless, and undeserving of David’s grace. David then discovered that a poor and crippled son of Jonathan lived in hiding from him: “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.’ The king said, ‘Is there not yet anyone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?’ And Ziba said to the king, ‘There is still a son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet.’ So the king said to him, ‘Where is he?’ And Ziba said to the king, ‘Behold, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lo-debar.’ (2 Sam. 9:2-4). David had to turn to a servant named Ziba to learn of Mephibosheth’s existence and his location. This meant that Mephibosheth had lived in hiding and fear from David. He was five years old and crippled at the time of Jonathan’s death. He became lame when a nurse named Jezreel dropped him in a misguided attempt to flee from David (2 Sam. 4:4). By now, he was a young man. But, he was so powerless that he did not even have his own house. Nor did he live with his own tribe. Mephibosheth was from the tribe of Benjamin (1 Sam. 9:21). But he was hiding in the house of Machir, a member of the Manasseh tribe (Gen. 50:23). Because Mephibosheth was the firstborn son of Saul’s eldest son Jonathan (2 Sam. 9:3), many would have considered him the rightful heir to Saul’s throne. Mephibosheth’s uncle Ishbosheth had already waged a civil war for the throne (2 Sam. 2:8-11; 3:1-4:12). Thus, some would have seen him as a threat to David. But, being a cripple, others would not have considered him a proper king.

  • Jesus emptied Himself of His power for all to be saved. Like Mephibosheth, Jesus became a man of no reputation: “who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Phil. 2:6-7). “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9). Mephibosheth suffered the misfortune of becoming a cripple after being dropped. Jesus suffered a far worse misfortune of being beaten and crucified: “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil. 2:8). “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2). Like Jesus, you need to lose your life to find it.

David asked Ziba to find descendants of Saul to honor them and show them love1

  • To find your life in Jesus, you must lose your earthly one. Mephibosheth was a real person. But he was also a symbol for the Church. Like Mephibosheth, all are poor, powerless, and undeserving of the King of King’s grace. Mephibosheth found his life with David as an honored member of his court only after losing his power and prestige. Like Mephibosheth, you can find your life in Jesus by losing what you find important in your earthly life. “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Matt. 10:39). “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matt. 16:25). “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” (Jo. 12:25). “So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” (Heb. 13:13). Do promises of power, prestige, and wealth hold more appeal than a relationship with Jesus?

3. Service: Jesus Showed His Love Through Humility and Service. 2 Sam. 9:5-6.

  • Mephibosheth humbled himself and declared himself a servant of David. Mephibosheth prostrated himself and declared himself a servant of King David in an attempt to prevent what he perceived to be his near certain death: “Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David said, ‘Mephibosheth.’ And he said, ‘Here is your servant!’ (2 Sam. 9:5-6). David should have recognized Mephibosheth’s humble pleas for mercy. He also had humbled himself before Saul when he perceived himself to be at imminent risk of death: “After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, a single flea?” (1 Sam 24:14). ‘“Now then, do not let my blood fall to the ground away from the presence of the LORD; for the king of Israel has come out to search for a single flea, just as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”’ (1 Sam. 26:20). David also referred to himself as “your servant” when speaking to Saul. “But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant was . . .’” (1 Sam. 17:34). Jesus also wants you to be a humble servant.

Mephibosheth prostrated himself before King David2

  • Jesus humbled himself and declared Himself a servant of God the Father. Jesus also humbled Himself to serve the will of God the Father: “saying, ‘Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.’” (Lk. 22:42; Matt. 26:42; Mk. 14:36). “So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?’” (Jo. 18:11). “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matt. 20:28; Mk. 10:45). “For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.” (Lk. 22:27). Jesus humbled Himself as a role model for you to follow.

  • Jesus wants you to humble yourself and become a servant of Him and others. Jesus wants you to find greatness with Him by humbling yourself and by becoming a servant to Him and to others need: “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,” (Matt. 20:26). “But the greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matt. 23:11). “Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”’ (Mk. 9:35). “But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.” (Lk. 22:26). When you humble yourself and serve others, He will strengthen you. “He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.” (Is. 40:29; 2 Cor. 4:16). “Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” (Is. 40:31). “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” (Matt. 23:12; Lk. 14:11). “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,” (1 Pet. 5:6). Do you find true joy in humbly serving others? Or, are you looking to be served?

4. Gratitude: Jesus Wants You to Be Grateful for His Sacrifice for You. 2 Sam. 9:7-8.

  • Mephibosheth was grateful for David’s mercy and grace. Mephibosheth lived his life as a man waiting in fear for his death sentence to be carried out. Thus, he then became overcome with gratitude for David’s mercy and grace: “David said to him, ‘Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly.’ Again he prostrated himself and said, ‘What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?”’ (2 Sam. 9:7-8). As quoted above, David also once called himself a “dead dog” before Saul (1 Sam 24:14). Like Mephibosheth, David knew that he did not deserve God’s mercy and grace. Thus, he offered God’s songs of thanksgiving: “. . . To you I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and call upon the name of the Lord, I shall pay my vows to the Lord.” (Ps. 116:1, 17-18). “ . . . I will render thank offerings to You. For you have delivered my soul from death.” (Ps. 56:12-13; 116:8). “. . . Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing.” (Ps. 107:1, 2, 22). Mephibosheth and David are role models for you.

David reassured Mephibosheth with kindness and love3

  • Like Mephibosheth and David, you were once dead because of sin. Without Jesus’ death, you would also be dead because of your sins: “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,” (Co. 2:13). “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, . . . even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),” (Eph. 2:1, 5). You are no more deserving of being saved by the King of Kings than Mephibosheth and David were before their kings. Like these two men, do you recognize the fate that you really deserve?

  • Jesus wants you to be grateful for His mercy and grace. In the parable of the prodigal son, the father’s household celebrated at the return of his son, who was also dead to sin: ‘“for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.” (Lk. 15:24). Everyone in God the Father’s household also celebrates at the return of a lost sinner: “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Lk. 15:7). God wants you to also be grateful and celebrate that you have been brought back to life through the King of Kings: “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18). “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;” (Eph. 5:20). Have you given thanks for your new life in Jesus?

5. Restoration: Out of Love, Jesus Will Restore What You Have Lost to Sin. 2 Sam. 9:9-10.

  • David promises to restore what Mephibosheth lost through his father’s sins. David’s covenant only required him to spare the lives of Jonathan’s descendants. But David did more than was required of him. He also restored all the lands that Mephibosheth lost because of his grandfather’s sins: “Then the king called Saul’s servant Ziba and said to him, ‘All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. 10 You and your sons and your servants shall cultivate the land for him, and you shall bring in the produce so that your master’s grandson may have food; nevertheless Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall eat at my table regularly.’ Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.” (2 Sam. 9:9-10). Out of loyalty, David agreed to care for Jonathan’s descendants by restoring their wealth. Both here and at a later time, David fulfilled his vow by caring for Jonathan’s crippled son. “But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the oath of the LORD which was between them, between David and Saul’s son Jonathan.” (2 Sam. 21:7). “Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man?” (Prov. 20:6). “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Prov. 18:24). Like David, Jesus wants to be loyal out of love.

David ordered Ziba to restore Mephibosheth’s lost inheritance4

  • Jesus also promises to restore what you lost through your father’s sins. Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eve because of sin (Gen. 3:23-24). They were also condemned to die a physical death after eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17). As a result of their sins, the relationships between mankind were strained (Gen. 3:15). Also as a result of their sins, mankind experienced hardships and physical pain (Gen. 3:16-17). “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—” (Ro. 5:12). Jesus came to restore all that mankind lost because of sin: “For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:21-22). Through Jesus, you are “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15). As a new creation, Jesus wants you to serve others.

  • If you love Jesus, show it by helping the poor and the disadvantaged. You were created for “good works.” (Eph. 2:10). Just as David helped a crippled man who had lost everything, you are called upon to show compassion and charity for those who are less fortunate: “Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother;”’ (Zech. 7:9). “Thus says the LORD, ‘Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.”’ (Jer. 22:3). “Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” (Is. 1:17). “Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute.” (Ps. 82:3). “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed.” (Prov. 19:17). In James 1:27, you are also told that “pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” Likewise, in Micah 6:8, you are told that God expects you to: “do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” On the Day of Judgment, Jesus will ask each person what they did for the needy: “I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matt. 25:40). Conversely, Jesus warns: ‘“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’” (Matt. 25:45). “He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.” (Prov. 21:13). How will you answer Jesus when asked what you have done with your talents to help the poor, the oppressed and the disadvantaged?

  • Comfort others the way God comforts you. Like David, God wants you to be a source of encouragement to others. “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb. 3:13). “But I urge you, brethren, bear with this word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly.” (Heb. 13:22). God is always there to comfort you when you turn to Him. Will you be available so that He can use the love inside you to comfort others?

  • Show hospitality to strangers. Believers are also told to show hospitality to strangers. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Heb. 13:1; Ro. 12:13). “having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work.” (1 Tim. 5:10). When strangers are in need, do you help them?

6. Obedience: Jesus Calls You to be Obedient as He Was For You. 2 Sam. 9:11a.

  • The servant follows the King’s command to bless Mephibosheth. Ziba then made a vow to carry out David’s order: “11a Then Ziba said to the king, ‘According to all that my lord the king commands his servant so your servant will do.”’ (2 Sam. 9:11a). Ziba was obedient until Absalom deposed David (2 Sam 16:1-4). Unlike Ziba, Jesus was fully obedient to the Father: “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil. 2:8). “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.” (Ro. 5:19). Like King David, the King of Kings also left you with the Servant to help you to restore your inheritance.

  • The Servant will also follow the King of King’s command to bless you. Jesus, the King of Kings, has sent His Servant to comfort and help you until He returns: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (Jo. 14:26). “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,” (Jo. 15:26). He is also the down payment on your eternal inheritance: “who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Eph. 1:14). Have you given thanks for all the blessings that come from the Servant?

  • Show your love through your obedience. You can show your love by obeying the King of Kings. Jesus says that, if you love Him, you will keep His commandments: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jo. 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 Jo. 5:3; 2 Jo. 1:6). Jesus is the great “I AM” who gave Moses the Ten Commandments at Mount Horeb (Jo. 8:58; Ex. 3:14). His “disciples” were the “disciplined ones” in keeping His commandments. As bondservants or freed slaves, they were obedient out of love, not obligation. Whether you follow the Law out of love instead of obligation is also a test for whether you really know Him: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 Jo. 2:3). “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.” (1 Cor. 7:19). Are you being disobedient to Him?

7. Fellowship: Out of Love, Jesus Invites You into His Fellowship. 2 Sam. 9:11b-13.

  • David blesses his former enemy with provision and love. Out of love, David also made Mephibosheth a guest of honor at his table. He also gave him his own residence in Jerusalem: “11b So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table regularly. Now he was lame in both feet.” (2 Sam. 9:11b-13). David treated Mephibosheth like one of his own sons. This was more than his covenant required. By inviting him to the banquets, David treated Mephibosheth as a friend.

  • Jesus also offers to dine with you at His table. Jesus has invited you to join His wedding feast, a symbol of His desire for fellowship with you: Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 3:20). But many refuse His offer of fellowship: “Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, ‘Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”’ (Matt. 22:1-4). Those who accept His offer to dine with Him in heaven will be blessed: “When one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him, ‘Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”’ (Lk. 14:15). As one commentator observes, David’s grace toward Mephibosheth was like Jesus’ grace towards the Church: “David’s grace to Mephibosheth is a wonderful picture of God’s grace to us. We are Mephibosheth. · We are hiding, poor, weak, lame, and fearful before our King comes to us. · We are separated from our King because of our wicked ancestors. · We are separated from our King because of our deliberate actions. · We separated ourselves from the King because we didn’t know him or His love for us. · Our King sought us out before we sought Him. · The King’s kindness is extended to us for the sake of another. · The King’s kindness is based on covenant. · We must receive the King’s kindness in humility. · The King returns to us what we lost in hiding from Him. · The King returns to us more than what we lost in hiding from Him. · We have the privilege of provision at the King’s table. · We are received as sons at the King’s table, with access to the King and fellowship with Him. · We receive servants from the King. · The King’s honor does not immediately take away all our weakness and lameness, but it gives us a favor and standing that overcomes its sting and changes the way we think about ourselves.” (David Guzik on 2 Sam. 9).5 Are you inviting others to join in Jesus’ fellowship?

  • Jesus will also heal the sick and disabled. Although King David blessed Mephibosheth, he remained “lame in both feet.” (2 Sam. 9:13). In contrast, the King of Kings will heal the sick and the lame: “And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them.” (Matt. 15:30). “Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness and streams in the Arabah.” (Is. 35:6). Until He returns, Jesus wants you to comfort the disabled.

  • Offer fellowship to the misfortunate who lack the means to repay you. Like David, Jesus wants you to invite the disabled and those who lack the means to repay you to your banquets. This means that your charity should not be limited to making donations to charitable organizations. It means that you are called upon to offer friendship to someone in need: “And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”’ (Lk. 14:12-14). If His love is in you, He wants you to also be a refuge to those in need: ‘“naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’” (Matt. 25:36). Jesus asks us: “And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” (Matt. 5:47). Like David, are you offering friendship to a person in need?

  • Find Jesus’ fellowship by serving others in need. Jesus revealed that you can find His fellowship through service. You can do this by submitting to one another in service the same way He submitted for you: “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (Jo. 13:14). As another example for us, Moses offered to have his name blotted out of the book of life to save the Jews from their judgment in building the golden calf (Ex. 32:32). Paul also wished that he could become cursed if doing so could save his brethren: “For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,” (Ro. 9:3). “But if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge that to my account; I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand, I will repay it (not to mention to you that you owe to me even your own self as well).” (Philemon 1:18-9). “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Phil. 2:3-4). Do you sacrifice and submit for others?

  • Live as a source of reconciliation. Like David, you should also be a source of reconciliation to others. “Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:18). “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb. 3:13). Like David, God also wants you to restore others in a spirit of gentleness. “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” (Gal. 6:1). “Let the righteous smite me in kindness and reprove me; it is oil upon the head; do not let my head refuse it, for still my prayer is against their wicked deeds.” (Ps. 141:5). “with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,” (2 Tim. 2:25). When others have been hurt by sin or misfortune, are you a source of reconciliation and encouragement?