|Statue of King David by Nicolas Cordier in the Borghese Chapel of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. By Jastrow (Own work (own picture)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons|
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.” 5 Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. 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.” 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.” 8 And he paid homage and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?”—2 Samuel 9:3-8, ESVEver since I first read this story some number of years ago, I was impressed with the heart that David had for his deceased friend Jonathan, the father of Mephibosheth, and especially that he gave such honor to a person that his society would not have esteemed.
This seems to be a foreshadow of what Jesus would do many years later when He would heal the lame and care for the poor and sick (see Matthew 11:4-6), not because they deserved it, but because His heavenly Father adopted them as His own. They would dine with Him in the Heavenly Kingdom. Like David, Jesus did it because of who their Father was. Other than the foreshadow and great hope that this story presents, it is also an example of the way society is support to work—you and I (not the government or another institution) take personal responsibility for the care of those closest to us.