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Mephibosheth and the Sweet Life

For the last three days, I’ve been in Wilmore, recording a Bible study series being produced by Seedbed, a new Asbury initiative.  The project was an incredible gift to me.  I had such a strong sense of God’s pleasure. Just the experience of it was more than enough, but then Jesus showed up and blessed me with such a sweet word.  He had Mephibosheth with him.

Mephibosheth is Jonathon’s son.  David found him when he went looking for a way to make good on a promise he’d made to Jonathon years before.  It was a vow to honor Jonathon’s family — any time, any place. One day long into his reign as king, he goes to the palace staff and asks (2 Samuel 9:1) – “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” Someone mentions Mephibosheth (his name means “shameful thing” … who would name their kid that?).

And as if the name weren’t curse enough, Mephibosheth is lame.  When he was five years old, a nursemaid dropped him or let him fall and somehow his feet were disabled.  So now he’s a boy named Shameful with feet that don’t allow him to play with the other kids or follow in his warrior-father’s footsteps.  After his father’s death, they did with him what they often did with kids like him.  They sent him off to someone willing to keep him as a servant for the cost of room and board.

So … a guy named Shameful who is labeled as Lame gets shipped off to a place called Lo Debar.  It means “place of no pasture.”  Some say it can also mean “place of no word,” which in that culture would have meant something like lack of intelligence or without blessing.  No Word, no blessing, no honor.   This is where Mephibosheth lived.

Until completely out of the blue, David sent for him.  The Hebrew word used here literally means something like “fetch.” Someone has called this act of David fetching grace.  Don’t you love that? It reminds me of Jesus’ word to his followers: “You did not choose me, but I chose you …”

When Mephibosheth was presented to David, the king said to him, “Don’t be afraid, for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father.  And I will restore the land that belongs to your family.” The story ends with Mephibosheth living in Jerusalem, eating at the King’s table.

And this is where Jesus showed up this morning.  He showed up as I was thinking about the fact that when Mephibosheth came to live with David, there was no miraculous healing. David didn’t hire great doctors to fix him up.  Mephibosheth came as he was, and as he was he was welcome at the table of the King.

And today, Jesus said to me, “You don’t have to be different than you are to sit at the table and be part of the things I have for you.  We are not all sitting around waiting for you to be better, different, healed.  You have been chosen as you are.”

And right here, right now … I want to thank Jesus for saying that to me.  For showing up with Mephibosheth this morning to bless my day and give me courage.

What a sweet life this life with Jesus is.