What is ‘grace’ in the particular context of the christian faith? It means something very different from what we call ‘grace’ in a worldly context. There it refers to a quality of character or style that someone possesses, and does not have any reference to God. One of the best illustrations in the bible as to the nature of christian grace is found in 2 Samuel 9, and the story of King David, having succeeded to the throne of Israel, not by inheritance, but by popular demand. David had no connection with the line of king Saul. The story is too long to go into the details of it here. We will simply deal with the ‘bones’ of the matter in order to grasp the very important illustration that is here.
In those days when there was a change in dynasty, as here, the first thing the new king would do would be to kill all the remaining relatives of the old king, as they would be considered a threat. In this case, that did not happen, but rather the very opposite. In many ways David was a type, or pattern, of Christ, and he asked those around him if there was anyone alive of the house of king Saul, “that I may show the kindness of God to him”. There was only one, Mephibosheth. He was actually a son of Jonathan, who was a son of Saul. Jonathan, strangely, had become a friend of David while Saul was still on the throne. Both Saul and Jonathan had died in battle on the same day. Mephibosheth was a poor soul who was lame on both his feet as a result of a childhood accident. David immediately sent for him. When the summons came to Mephibosheth, his heart would have sank, thinking that his end had come. However, he had no choice, but to obey the summons.
When he arrived before the king, he threw himself down in reverence, in the forlorn hope that he would be shown mercy. How relieved he was to hear the words that came from the king’s mouth: “Mephibosheth, fear not, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and I will restore you all the land of Saul your (grand)father, and you will eat bread at my table continually.”
Christ said that He was come to seek and to save that which was lost. He finds the sinner in a state of hopelessness, and trembling in fear of the judgement of God. What relief when he or she reads the promises of God in the bible, and is enabled to lay hold of them: promises of grace extended to him or her, ‘fear not, I will show you the kindness of God (grace), and you will eat at my table continually’, in other words, ‘from now on you will enjoy all the blessings that I pour out on my people’. What joy for the sinner, who could not see anything for himself or herself but condemnation. There is nothing like the relief of knowing that we are RightWithGod, that God has showed His kindness to us, that His banner over us is now love, and that there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus; and it is all of Grace, God’s kindness to us in providing such a great salvation for us by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and coming to seek us and bless us so super-abundantly.