A Cripple At The King's Table

Guest Blogger:  Ben Baker

2 Samuel 9 

 There is a story that seems to be lost in the recesses of the Old Testament that perhaps you have read and do not remember; perhaps you do remember it well. Either way, I want to draw your attention to it in a way that you may never have thought of it before. First, let me tell you the story. This event takes place some years after King Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle with the Philistines and shortly after David had finally become king over all of Israel. This story is the story of David and Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth is the last remaining member of Saul’s house, being that he was the son of Jonathan. He was a cripple, and there was no reason for David to show any special regard for him. But because of the great love that David had for Jonathan, he took Mephibosheth into his household and gave him a seat at his table, the table of the king. A seat at the table of the king. What an amazing thing! Think for a moment: to sit at the king’s table was an unspeakable honor. Maybe if Mephibosheth had been a great warrior, it would make sense. Maybe if he was a part of David’s family. Mephibosheth was neither. He was lame. A cripple. He could do no great works to earn David’s favor. On top of that, he was the grandson of Saul – a man who tried to kill David on more than one occasion. How is it, then, that this great honor was bestowed upon an undeserving cripple? It was because of the great love that David had for his closest friend, Mephibosheth’s father Jonathan. David loved Mephibosheth for Jonathan’s sake. 

 This is a relatively short story but a powerful one nonetheless. Perhaps you think this is an isolated event in which a man showed great love for his friend by taking his crippled son into his house and seating him at his table. However, we can see ourselves in this story as well. We are all cripples. We may not be physically crippled, but we are all lame in our hearts, crippled in our souls. We have no worthiness in ourselves that would require or incline God to love us. We do not deserve His kindness or His love. We are not lovely. Yet God places His love on us. Why? Because the Father loves the Son. Jesus is the Beloved of the Father, and He loved us enough that He would come and suffer and die in our place. And the Father has given Jesus the reward of His suffering: His bride (Isaiah 53:7-12). 

 Just as David loved Jonathan and loved Mephibosheth for Jonathan’s sake, so the Father loves Jesus and loves us for Jesus’ sake. Our standing with God is not based on us, but His favor is shown to us in Christ and because of Christ. This love is bewildering. It makes no sense. We are not lovely; we are ugly with sin. We have no worthiness in ourselves to deserve the love of God. Yet He loves us anyway. Mephibosheth became part of David’s household – in Christ we are adopted into God’s household. This is truly amazing love.

Just as David invited Mephibosheth to eat at his table all the rest of his days, God also invites us to come and fellowship at His table. We cannot come on our own. Instead we must be carried. We are crippled like Mephibosheth. Jesus invites us to come. One day we will physically sit at our Lord’s Table when He returns for His bride, and we will share in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. There is a special intimacy in breaking bread and eating with one another. Christ invites us to share in this special fellowship with Him. We do not deserve a place at the King’s table. Yet, out of His great love and grace, we have a place at the table if we are betrothed to the Beloved – Jesus Christ. And there in the presence of the King we will remain for eternity. God has seen fit to give us a little glimpse of this table fellowship while we are here on this earth awaiting our Bridegroom. This glimpse is given to us in The Lord’s Supper. Again, stop and think. When you partake of Holy Communion you are coming to the King’s table. You and I do not deserve to be there. Yet, in Holy Communion, we are invited to the Lord’s Table where Jesus is the Host. He invites us to come and fellowship with Him, and He feeds us with Himself. There in Holy Communion we meet Jesus in a special way. He is there in His true body and blood as well as in His divinity, and there He nourishes us with Himself and we enjoy sweet, intimate fellowship with our Lord and Savior. The King brings us cripples to His table. What an amazing honor and privilege our King has granted us! What love is this that invites poor beggars and cripples with nothing to offer to come and dine with the King of Kings? Amazing love. Amazing grace. 

May you think of God’s great love for us when you read the story of David and Mephibosheth. May you think of it when you think of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb that is awaiting us who are in Christ Jesus. May you think of God’s great love for us when He invites you to come and dine at His table in Holy Communion. We have no intrinsic worthiness in ourselves. We are but poor cripples carried to the table of our God and King. 

 “Behold, I [Jesus] stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” – Revelation 3:20 

“Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” – Revelation 19:9