I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. 2 Samuel 9:7
In the powerful article “Does My Son Know You?” sportswriter Jonathan Tjarks wrote of his battle with terminal cancer and his desire for others to care well for his wife and young son. The thirty-four-year-old wrote the piece just six months prior to his death. Tjarks, a believer in Jesus whose father had died when he was a young adult, shared Scriptures that speak of care for widows and orphans (Exodus 22:22; Isaiah 1:17; James 1:27). And in words directed to his friends, he wrote, “When I see you in heaven, there’s only one thing I’m going to ask—Were you good to my son and my wife? . . . Does my son know you?”
King David wondered if there was “anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom [he could] show kindness for [his dear friend] Jonathan’s sake” (2 Samuel 9:1). A son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, who was “lame in both feet” (v. 3) due to an accident (see 4:4), was brought to the king. David said to him, “I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table” (9:7). David showed loving care for Mephibosheth, and it’s likely that in time the king truly got to know him (see 19:24–30).
Jesus has called us to love others just as He loves us (John 13:34). As He works in and through us, let’s truly get to know and love them well.
How can you know others more deeply? What will it look like for you to love them the way God loves you?
Heavenly Father, help me to honor You by striving to truly know and love others.
David and Jonathan offer a glimpse of what a true friendship looks like. Though Jonathan was King Saul’s son, he sought to protect David from the king’s irrational anger and bitter hatred. Upon hearing news of Jonathan’s death, David wrote of the pain, loss, and despair over the death of a dear friend. Yet, even during his grief for Jonathan, he also grieved over Saul (2 Samuel 1:24). Saul had pursued David like a common criminal, but David still grieved the king’s death.