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David and Mephibosheth Brought into Jerusalem Luke 14 and 2 Samuel 9

David and Mephibosheth: Brought into Jerusalem (Luke 14:12-14 and 2 Samuel 9)

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David and Mephibosheth, in 2 Samuel 9, is one of the most beautiful accounts in the Old Testament. When we read Scripture, we want to be David defeating Goliath or Elijah on Mount Carmel, but we are Mephibosheth.

Mephibosheth was unable to walk because he was made lame through a fall, and spiritually speaking, we are unable to walk with God, because we have been made lame through the fall. Mephibosheth was condemned to die because he was descended from Saul, like we’re condemned to die because we’re descended from Adam. David sought Mephibosheth like God seeks us. David showed Mephibosheth kindness because of Jonathan, like God shows us kindness because of Jesus. King David brought Mephibosheth into Jerusalem, like King Jesus brings the spiritually lame into the New Jerusalem. Mephibosheth was adopted by the king, like we are adopted by the King.

Family Worship Guide for David and Mephibosheth: Brought into Jerusalem

Directions: Read the verses and then answer the questions:

  • Day 1: Luke 14:12-14, 2 Samuel 4:4, 1 Kings 15:29, 1 Corinthians 15:22—Who should we invite to dinner? Who shouldn’t we invite to dinner? Is this completely literal? Why was Mephibosheth condemned to die? Describe the parallels this has for us.
  • Day 2: 2 Samuel 9:1-8, Romans 3:11, 1 John 4:19, John 6:44, 65—What similarities do you see between the way David sought out Mephibosheth and God seeks us out? In your own life, how did God seek you out? In other words, how did He get the gospel to you; through a friend, coworker, or parent? Why was David kind to Mephibosheth, and what parallels does this have for us? Why has God shown you favor?
  • Day 3: 2 Samuel 9:9-13, John 1:12, Galatians 3:26, 1 John 3:1, 2 Samuel 5:6-8, Galatians 4:26, Hebrews 12:22, Revelation 3:12, 21:2, 9—What did David do with Mephibosheth after he brought him into Jerusalem? In what way ways does this look forward to what God does with us? How is the earthly Jerusalem a type of the New Jerusalem? In what ways are we “Spiritually lame”? Mephibosheth was so relieved to see the King David was okay. What encourages you and challenges you about his example in your relationship with Christ?

Sermon Notes for David and Mephibosheth: Brought into Jerusalem

The title of this morning’s sermon is, “Brought into Jerusalem.”

On Sunday mornings we’re working our way through Luke’s gospel verse by verse and we find ourselves at chapter 14, verses 12-14.

Please stand with me for the reading of God’s Word.

Luke 14:12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

You may be seated. Let’s pray.

This morning’s verses pick up right where the previous verses left off. Look at verse 1

Luke 14:1 One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. 2 And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. 3 And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees,

Jesus is still dining at the house of this ruler of the Pharisees and there were other Pharisees and lawyers present.

Who remembers why they invited the man with dropsy? Did they want to bless him?

No. They wanted to trap Jesus.

If you walked into this luncheon you would say, “The Pharisees are here, and it makes sense that Jesus is here, because they would invite prominent people, which Jesus was…but why in the world is this man with dropsy here?”

The religious leaders would never invite a man like this to a meal, because the thinking of the day was if someone had a deformity, disability, or sickness, they were being punished by God.

And this morning’s verses flow from this. Jesus says who we should and shouldn’t invite. Look at verse 12

Luke 14:12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

And this brings us to lesson one…

Lesson One: Show kindness to those who can’t return it.

This is an example when you can’t take Jesus as literally as He sounds. If you do, you’re going to have a bunch of family and friends who wonder if you’re upset with them:

  • “Why don’t you ever invite us over for holidays or birthdays?”
  • “Sorry, but Jesus told me not to.”

Instead, Jesus is making the point that we shouldn’t seek out those we know can – or will – repay us.

Jesus wants us to be kind to those who can’t repay us.

And notice the last words: Jesus says we will be repaid – or rewarded – in the next life. So we are repaid!

Now let me ask you to think about something…

We have talked many times before that the Old Testament provides examples of New Testament instruction…

1 Corinthians 10:6 These things (in the Old Testament) took place as examples for us…11 These things (in the Old Testament) happened… as an example.

Can anyone think of an Old Testament example of Jesus’s teaching?

  • Someone inviting the poor, crippled, and lame to a feast?
  • Showing kindness to someone who couldn’t return it?

There is a perfect example. In verse 13 circle the words when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and write, “Mephibosheth,” and if you can’t figure out how to spell Mephibosheth, just put “2 Samuel 9.”

Then turn to 2 Samuel 4. We will get to chapter 9, but we have to look at one verse in this chapter first.

In the ancient world if a new king was not descended from the previous king, it was customary for that king to execute all the descendants of the previous king to prevent any of them from rising up and trying to reclaim the throne.

There’s an example of this in Scripture when Baasha became king of Israel in Nadab’s place…

1 Kings 15:29 When [Baasha] became king, he killed all the house of [Nadab’s father] Jeroboam. He did not leave to Jeroboam anyone that breathed, until he had destroyed him.

Baasha became king and he killed everyone associated with the previous king.

And even up to this point in the book of 2 Samuel we’ve only read about two individuals connected to Saul: Ishbosheth and Abner.

What happened to both of them?

They were murdered!

With that in mind, King Saul and his son, Jonathan, were killed on the battlefield, paving the way for David to become the new king.

Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth, who is the last descendant of Saul, giving him a strong legal claim to the throne, and making him the greatest threat to David.

One of my commentaries said…

Mephibosheth had good cause to be afraid of David. There is wide precedent in Mesopotamian texts for the elimination of all rival claimants to the throne when a king comes to power.”

When the news came that Saul and Jonathan were killed the woman caring for Mephibosheth tried to flee to protect him, but look what happened…

2 Samuel 4:4 Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan (this means the news about their deaths) came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled, and as she fled in her haste, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.

When the nurse was fleeing with Mephibosheth she might have tripped and fallen with him or dropped him, but whatever the case, he was injured and spent the rest of his life crippled.

And this begins some of the beautiful typology in this account…and it brings us to lesson two…

Lesson Two: Mephibosheth was condemned to die because he was descended from Saul, like we’re condemned to die because we’re descended from Adam.

Let me ask you to think about something for a moment…

Why were the descendants of the previous king condemned to die? Was it because of anything they personally did?

No, they were condemned, because of who they were descended from.

Similarly, as Adam’s descendants, we are condemned to die, because of who we’re descended from: 1 Corinthians 15:22 in Adam all die.

When we read Scripture who do we like to compare ourselves with?

  • We want to be David defeating Goliath
  • We want to be Elijah on Mount Carmel

But really, we are Mephibosheth:

  • Mephibosheth was unable to walk because he was made lame through a fall
  • Spiritually speaking, we are unable to walk with God, because we have been made lame through the fall.

Keeping this typology in mind, turn to 2 Samuel 9

2 Samuel 9:1 And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

Jonathan was Saul’s son, and he had been David’s great friend. Because Jonathan was dead David couldn’t do anything for him, but he could do something for one of his living descendants.

When David said, “Is there anyone left of the house of the previous king?” he asked the same question every king asked when he established a new dynasty, so he could execute them.

David asked the question, but for the opposite reason: he wanted to show kindness to that person.

We’re looking at one of those places that reveal why David was the Man After God’s Own Heart. He’s about to show kindness to his greatest threat.

2 Samuel 9:2 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.”

David had to do some investigating because any of Saul’s descendants would be in hiding afraid for their lives.

Ziba used to be a servant in Saul’s house, so if there’s anyone who’d know if Jonathan had any descendants, it would be him.

2 Samuel 9:3 And the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.” 4 The king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.”

Mephibosheth couldn’t live by himself because of his handicap, so he had to live with this other man.

2 Samuel 9:5 Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.

Notice the words David sent and brought him…and this brings us to lesson three…

Lesson Three: David sought Mephibosheth like God seeks us.

Listen to these verses:

  • Romans 3:11 There is none who seeks after God
  • 1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.
  • John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him
  • John 6:65 No one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father

Because of our pride:

  • We like to think we are the initiators
  • We like to think we sought God and found him

But unregenerate man seeks God about as much as Mephibosheth sought David:

Look at verse six…

2 Samuel 9:6 And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.” 7a And David said to him, “Do not fear,

Pause right here for a moment. Mephibosheth fell on his face before David, and David could tell he was terrified…that’s why David said, “Do not fear.”

Imagine what this was like for Mephibosheth…

David’s servants were only instructed to bring Mephibosheth to the king. It would’ve been improper for them to go beyond David’s instructions and tell Mephibosheth why he was sought. And we can tell Mephibosheth knew he wasn’t being brought before the king to be shown kindness, or he wouldn’t have been terrified.

So when Mephibosheth arrived he thought he was going to die. He had been quietly living out his remaining days in the house of Machir, hoping to go unnoticed as long as possible, but he lived in fear that every day was his last. When the messengers arrived he knew that day had come.

But look how David responded in what would’ve been one of the tenderest, most beautiful moments in the Old Testament…

2 Samuel 9:7 And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.”

Can you imagine how Mephibosheth felt hearing this?

Notice the words I will show you kindness. This is the third time David’s kindness toward Mephibosheth has been emphasized:

  • 1 David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul that I MAY SHOW HIM KINDNESS for Jonathan’s sake?”
  • 3 Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I MAY SHOW THE KINDNESS of God?”

And this brings us to lesson four…

Lesson Four: David showed Mephibosheth kindness because of Jonathan, like God shows us kindness because of Jesus.

Briefly look back at:

  • 1 And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness FOR JONATHAN’S SAKE?”
  • 7 And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR FATHER JONATHAN.

David showed Mephibosheth kindness – not because of anything Mephibosheth had done – but because of what Jonathan had done.

Similarly, God shows us kindness, not because of anything we’ve done, but because of what Jesus has done.

Briefly look at 1 Samuel 20:15…

1 Samuel 20:14 [Jonathan said to David], “Do not cut off your steadfast love from my house forever, when the Lord cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.”

What is Jonathan doing here?

He’s interceding!

He interceded for his descendants. He asked David to spare them: “David, please spare them for my sake.”

And here’s the important question…

Did Mephibosheth earn or merit this kindness?

No, not at all.

What do we call unearned or unmerited kindness?

Grace!

If you write in your Bible you can circle the word kindness and write, “Grace.”

Mephibosheth was condemned to die. There was nothing he could do to save himself.

But he was saved by grace because of what someone else did.

Similarly, we are condemned to die. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves.

But we can be saved by grace because of what someone else did.

And when Mephibosheth learns this incredible news, look how he responds…

2 Samuel 9:8 And he paid homage and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?”

Mephibosheth knew he didn’t deserve this kindness and it showed in his words…

“Why would you do this for me?”

This is the response we should have about God’s kindness toward us.

But David’s kindness doesn’t stop here. Look at verse nine…

2 Samuel 9:9 Then the king called Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. 10 And you and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him and shall bring in the produce, that your master’s grandson may have bread to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall always eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.

Let me explain why this is such an entertaining scene…

Ziba was Saul and Jonathan’s servant of. When they died, which would’ve been years ago – back when Mephibosheth was five – Ziba should’ve given all of Saul and Jonathan’s possessions to Mephibosheth and then served him, like he served Saul and Jonathan. But – probably because he knew Mephibosheth was crippled and no threat to him – he kept all of Saul and Jonathan’s stuff – which would’ve been a lot – for himself.

And things had been going well for his Ziba. It says he had 15 sons and 20 servants. That’s incredible for someone who is a servant himself.

But what did David do right here?

He gave all of it to Mephibosheth and told Ziba that he and his sons would serve Mephibosheth.

Ziba goes along with it, although I’m sure reluctantly. Look at verse 11

2 Samuel 9:11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so will your servant do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons.

At the end of the verse notice the words like one of the king’s sons…and this brings us to Lesson Five…

Lesson Five: Mephibosheth was adopted by the king, like we are adopted by the King.

Mephibosheth ended up being adopted into the king’s family, like we are adopted into the King’s family when we become Christians.

We are made sons and daughters:

  • John 1:12 As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God
  • Galatians 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
  • 1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!

It’s a beautiful picture, isn’t it?

This wretched individual, deserving of death, is brought before the king and made into one of his sons. It’s what has taken place in the life of all believers who have repented and put their faith in Jesus.

Look at verse 12

2 Samuel 9:12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s servants. 13a So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table.

Let me get you to notice something…

Mephibosheth eating at the king’s table is a theme. It’s mentioned four times:

  1. 7 And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my TABLE always.”
  2. 10 And you and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him and shall bring in the produce, that your master’s grandson may have bread to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall always eat at my TABLE.”
  3. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so will your servant do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s TABLE, like one of the king’s sons.
  4. 13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s TABLE. Now he was lame in both his feet.

If you write in your Bible, in verse 13 you can circle the words he ate always at the king’s table and write, “Luke 14:12-13.”

Listen to how well David fulfilled Jesus’s words…

Luke 14:12 [Jesus said], “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.

This is exactly what David did.

Do you think there was any way that Mephibosheth could repay this kindness?

No way.

The rest of verse 13…

2 Samuel 9:13b Now he was lame in both his feet.

I’ve told you before that the type always falls short of the reality, and this is a good example of that truth:

  • Mephibosheth’s handicap didn’t go away. He remained lame for the rest of his life.
  • But we receive glorified bodies. All our handicaps are taken away.

Mephibosheth would grow old and die, but we look forward to incorruptible, immortal bodies…

1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet…the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

What King David did for Mephibosheth was great, but it pales in comparison to what King Jesus has done for us.

We receive grace, or divine favor, that far exceeds even the kindness shown to Mephibosheth.

Please turn to the left to 2 Samuel 5 so I can show you something interesting.

The context is David wants to conquer Jerusalem and make it his capital, but it’s inhabited by Jebusites. Look how they taunt him…

2 Samuel 5:6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off”thinking, “David cannot come in here.” 7 Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. 8 And David said on that day, “Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack ‘the lame and the blind,’ who are hated by David’s soul.” Therefore it is said (which means it became a saying), “THE BLIND AND THE LAME SHALL NOT COME INTO THE HOUSE (referring to Jerusalem).”

Because of this exchange between David and the Jebusites, it became well-known that the blind and lame would NOT enter Jerusalem.

This brings us to Lesson Six…

Lesson Six: King David brought Mephibosheth into Jerusalem, like King Jesus brings the spiritually lame into the New Jerusalem.

Please follow me for a moment…

The New Testament identifies Jerusalem as a type, or picture, of heaven:

  • Galatians 4:26 the JERUSALEM ABOVE is free
  • Hebrews 12:22 You have come…to the city of the living God, the HEAVENLY JERUSALEM
  • Revelation 3:12 the name of the city of My God, the NEW JERUSALEM, WHICH COMES DOWN OUT OF HEAVEN
  • Revelation 21:2 and 9 The holy city, NEW JERUSALEM, coming down out of heaven

The Old Testament prophesied that under the Messiah the blind and lame would be special recipients of God’s grace:

  • Isaiah 35:6 The lame shall leap like a deer.
  • Jeremiah 31:8 Behold, I will…[Israel] from the ends of the earth, among them the blind and the lame.

Now let me connect the dots…

From 2 Samuel 5 we know the blind and lame were excluded from Jerusalem, which is a type of heaven.

When King David brought Mephibosheth into Jerusalem it prefigured King Jesus bringing the spiritually lame into the New Jerusalem.

Or another way to say it is…

When David brought Mephibosheth into Jerusalem it’s a beautiful picture of Jesus bringing into the New Jerusalem the spiritually blind and lame who have him as King.

There’s one more event with Mephibosheth and Ziba that I would like to show you…

Turn to 2 Samuel 16. Here’s the context…

In one of the lowest moments of David’s life, his son, Absalom, took the throne from him. David was forced to flee Jerusalem for his life.

Ziba never got over having to give to Mephibosheth everything Ziba unjustly kept from the house of Saul. So, when David was on the run, Ziba went out to meet him and he did something terrible. He manipulatively gave David supplies – to win David’s favor – and told David that Mephibosheth turned against him…to get David to turn against Mephibosheth.

It was a lie, but sadly, it worked. Probably because of all the stress David was under at the time he made a rash decision and gave back to Ziba all the stuff he’d given Mephibosheth. Look at verse 1

2 Samuel 16:1 When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of donkeys saddled, bearing two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred of summer fruits, and a skin of wine. 2 And the king said to Ziba, “Why have you brought these?” Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for those who faint in the wilderness to drink.” 3 And the king said, “And where is your master’s son (referring to Mephibosheth)?” Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he remains in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back the kingdom of my father.’” 4 Then the king said to Ziba, “Behold, all that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.” And Ziba said, “I pay homage; let me ever find favor in your sight, my lord the king.”

So, everything Ziba unjustly kept from the house of Saul that David gave to Mephibosheth, is now taken from Mephibosheth and given back to Ziba, because Ziba deceived him.

Now turn to 2 Samuel 19.

Because of Mephibosheth’s handicap he had trouble traveling. Plus, it seems like Ziba took Mephibosheth’s donkey. But he finally caught up with David.

Look at verse 24

2 Samuel 19:24 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. He had neither taken care of his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came back in safety.

Mephibosheth was so worried about David he stopped caring for himself.

2 Samuel 19:25 And when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26 He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant (referring to Ziba) deceived me, for your servant said to him, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself, that I may ride on it and go with the king.’ For your servant is lame. 27 He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. 28 For all my father’s house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to cry to the king?” 29 And the king said to him, “Why speak any more of your affairs? I have when we think about how much more our decided: you and Ziba shall divide the land.”

So right here Mephibosheth learned that he lost half of all his stuff, because of Ziba’s treachery.

But look how he responds…

2 Samuel 19:30 And Mephibosheth said to the king, “Oh, let him take it all, since my lord the king has come safely home.”

You would expect Mephibosheth:

  • To be sad about losing half of his stuff…
  • Or bitter toward Ziba for being such a scoundrel…
  • Or angry with David for making such a rash decision.

But he didn’t care about any of that. He only cared about one thing and that was David’s well-being.

Mephibosheth was content to let Ziba have everything if he could just have his king. His relationship with David was more important to him than anything physical he could own. Knowing David was okay was all he wanted. It is really beautiful.

And I mention all this, because when we think about how much more King Jesus has done for us than King David did for Mephibosheth, how much more affection should we have for our King than Mephibosheth had for his?

I will be up front after service, and if you have any questions about anything I’ve shared or I can pray for you in any way I would consider it a privilege to speak with you.

Let’s pray.

2 Responses

    1. Hello John,
      I’m glad you asked for prayer for your son, but I’m not sure this post is the best place to do so. Could you reach out to me through the contact page on my website with the details? Thanks and God bless!

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