So, David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.” 2 Samuel 9:7
There’s a beautiful story in the life of King David illustrating God’s grace to us through Christ. Mephibosheth was the son of David’s bosom friend, Jonathan, son of Saul. He’d been crippled in both feet at age five. After David was established as king over all Israel, he desired to show kindness to anyone remaining of Saul’s family, “for Jonathan’s sake.” So, Mephibosheth—crippled and destitute, unable to care for himself and living in someone else’s house—was brought into David’s house and “ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons” (2 Sam. 9:11)
Why was Mephibosheth treated this way? It was for Jonathan’s sake. We might say Jonathan’s loyal friendship with David “earned” Mephibosheth’s seat at David’s table. Mephibosheth, in his crippled and destitute condition, unable to improve his lot and wholly dependent on the benevolence of others, is an illustration of you and me, crippled by sin and unable to help ourselves. David, in his graciousness, illustrates God the Father, and Jonathan illustrates Christ.
Just as Mephibosheth was elevated to a place at the king’s table for Jonathan’s sake, so you and I are elevated to the status of God’s children for Christ’s sake. And just as being seated at the king’s table involved not only daily food but other privileges as well, so God’s salvation for Christ’s sake carries with it all the provisions we need, not only for eternity but for this life as well.
This account both begins and ends with the statement that Mephibosheth was crippled in both feet (verses 3, 13). Mephibosheth never got over his crippled condition. He never got to the place where he could leave the king’s table and make it on his own. And neither do we.