David’s act of kindness was extravagant. With one spoken edict, Mephibosheth had become a wealthy man. His grandfather Saul’s estate was restored to him and David had given him servants to work the fields. But most surprising of all, Mephibosheth would eat at the king’s table like one of his sons. This is the high point of the narrative, the perfect place to put one’s pen down or move to the next chapter. But that is not how the account ends. Instead, we read the anticlimactic “He was lame in both his feet.”
Why return to this seemingly insignificant detail? Perhaps this concluding sentence is there merely to remind us of how unlikely an event this was, to remind us of the fall and rise of Mephibosheth. Perhaps another reason is to remind us of whom we are supposed to relate to in the story—not David but Mephibosheth. Perhaps we are to remember how great of a fall and rise we have experienced in Christ Jesus—how He extended kindness and grace to us when we were spiritually hopeless and helpless. Perhaps the story ends where our application is supposed to begin.
How do you tend to read the stories in Scripture: through the lens of the hero or through the lens of the ones in need of a hero? How should our understanding of the gospel shape how we read?