2 Samuel 9:6-8 – And Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David said, “Mephibosheth.” And he said, “Here is your servant!”  And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly.” Again he prostrated himself and said, “What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?”

I am addicted to the Gospel of Grace.  I can’t get enough of this good news.  But until last year, I had never heard of it. In January of 2011 our son Graham attended an Acts 29 Network Conference in Orlando and heard Tullian Tchividjian’s talk and story about Grace.  Tullian who is a pastor and grandson of Billy Graham came to grace the hard way.  First a prodigal and unrepentant Jonah (running away from God) and then a legalistic Christian, he eventually embraced the freedom of grace. Now he is committed to living on the basis of grace and teaching it wherever he goes.  Mike and I caught a new lilt in Graham’s voice as he, too, shared a new vision of God.  We quickly downloaded Tullian’s talk and have been reading and listening to Grace messages from him and others since then.

So what is Grace according to the Bible?  Grace is a gift you receive because the giver wants to give it to you.  It is not based on anything you do to deserve it or earn it.  It is very un-American what with our ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ philosophy.  Apparently Mephibosheth, like us, had a problem wrapping his mind around this ‘unnatural’ way of responding.

Mephibosheth was the crippled son of King David’s best friend, Jonathan.  When David found out that this young son had survived the Philistine war, David sent for him, out of his love for his dead friend Jonathan.  The young boy was terrorized, certain that he would be slain by his dead grandfather’s supposed rival (with his grandfather King Saul dead, as well as his own dad, Mephibosheth was next in line if he was the only survivor in the royal family.) 

But David has the crippled boy carried to his table and treats him as his own son, not for anything the useless young man could or ever would do.  It was out of love for Jonathan that David treats him both tenderly and royally.

We are Mephibosheth.  We, too, are handicapped, having nothing to offer or exchange with God.  Like the young Hebrew, we have to be carried in to the banquet hall, almost against our will, not having arranged this transfer.  Our first thought is ‘what does he want with ME, in my state!  (-Given my sin and unworthiness).  What ‘Mephib’ and we have to keep reminding ourselves of is the radical thought that it is out of love of the King for someone else that we are so blessed. That is GREAT news.  Because what we receive from God (forgiveness for our sins and Jesus’ perfect righteousness credited to our account) has nothing to do with what we do or don’t do.  The daily gifts I receive and the future inheritance are all based on God the Father’s love for Jesus and what Jesus did for us!  I don’t have to do anything!!!!  And that is why it is called grace.  The amazing corollary is that I can’t risk losing my position either, because again, it’s not based on ME.

So what are we supposed to DO!!!!

-enjoy the banquet

-tell others that there is plenty of room and food at the Table

-when someone reaches for a French fry from your plate, give him your hamburger, too.  Don’t begrudge someone’s bigger portion of ice cream.  There’s plenty for all.  And the supply won’t run out.  Relax