Paul Harvey once told the story of “The Man and the Birds (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddai8rkXWRs ).” It’s about a man who wanted to help a flock of birds, caught in a snowstorm, get into the safety of his warm barn. He tried to shoo them…he tried to catch them…he tried to lead them with a trail of breadcrumbs. But nothing worked. They could not believe he wanted to help. “If only I could become a bird,” he thought “I could lead them to safety myself.”
Of course, that’s what Jesus did in the incarnation. We just couldn’t find our own way to God…we needed someone to lead us…someone we could understand.
Many years before Jesus showed us that mercy, King David showed mercy to a young man named Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 9:1-13). The young man was an enemy of the king and was in hiding: He feared the king. But David went after him. David sought him out. David called him by name and brought the young man into his family. What had been lost to Mephibosheth, David restored fully. I call it the Gospel According to Mephibosheth. It took some time before Mephibosheth finally believed David meant to do him good and not harm, but it finally sunk in.
Last week we talked about them – specifically where they can be found. They are the ones God has called us to reach. They are the birds in the snowstorm. This week, in the story of Mephibosheth, we’ll get a picture of how they think and why they’re reluctant to respond to the Good News… Mephibosheth is a great reminder: God’s grace is truly difficult to believe.
But once you understand it and accept it, grace changes everything!