Mephibosheth - one of the more oddly named individuals in the Bible and by far one of my favorite stories.
I had the opportunity to share about his and King David’s story at church about 18 months ago but have been reflecting on it a lot since then. Stirred recently by a conversation with Erich Sechler, I wanted to revisit the scripture again in this blog. It takes 117 seconds to read (I timed it); so before reading farther in the blog, go read the story first in 2 Samuel 9:1-13.
There are so many gold nuggets in this story. Rather than re-hash all of them out, I want to only reflect on the final verse:
“So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet” – 2 Samuel 9:13.
Mephibosheth is shown wild mercy and favor. Quite suddenly, his future is solidified with the highest blessings possible – treated as if David’s own son, a prince when previously his future had no hope as an outcasted invalid living in the wilderness.
However, this blessing is juxtaposed with a reminder of his remaining brokenness. His lame legs have not been healed in the midst of this undeserved splendor. Why bring this back up? Why did the author of this story remind us of this duality of blessedness and brokenness?
I personally take it as a reminder of our choice we’ve been given.
We, like Mephibosheth, have undeservingly received wild favor because of Christ. We’re now treated as God’s sons and daughters.
We have every resource of the Kingdom before us. We have an eternal inheritance we did not earn, and yet we’re still not fully healed from the brokenness we know on this side of heaven.
How then shall we choose to live? Which perspective will take precedence in our lives?
Personally, I struggle hard with this. Undoubtedly, I’m blessed wildly because of Christ and the communion He has created for me and the three-person Trinity; the result should be fullness of joy, but I often find my perspective drifting quickly back to the unfixed brokenness I know in my earthly circumstances, and like Mephibosheth, my eyes may go back and forth between the feast on the table before me and the injury/sin/sadness I’m still sitting in.
If I could converse with Mephibosheth – I’m sure he’d assure me that the blessings far outweighed his incompleteness. He wouldn’t deny or ignore his struggle, but it would only strengthen his joyful anticipation for the full restoration coming soon enough. He would tell you and I to fix our eyes on Christ, the perfect and loving King of Kings who brings us to feast at His own table for eternity.