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God's extreme kindness towards humanity changed everything.

Had it not been for God’s kindness to forgive our sins, we wouldn’t be able to have a relationship with him.

We wouldn’t have the hope of eternal life with Christ.

Use this preteen ministry lesson on 2 Samuel 4:4 to remind students that God shows extreme kindness to us because of who Jesus is.

- Nick Diliberto, Preteen Ministry



Bible: 2 Samuel 4:4; 9:1-13

Bottom Line: God shows extreme kindness to us because of who Jesus is.


  • Variety of objects that are awkward in shape or hard to carry (such as baby dolls, textbooks, measuring cups, stuffed animals, a crouton, a blanket, a pillow, etc... let your imagination run wild with this one!)

Note: You will need enough for each team to have an equal amount.



Have students form two teams of equal size.

Choose a starting line and a finish line in a straight path.

Place the objects you’ve collected at intervals along the path between the starting line and finish line.


At the signal, the first player for each team will pick up the first object that is lying at their feet.

Then, they will race to the next item and pick it up, without dropping the first item.

They will continue this trend, picking up items along the way, until every item has been collected and then they will return to the starting point without dropping anything.

As a fun variation, if someone does drop an item, they have to freeze for a full five seconds, pick up what they dropped, and then continue on.

The first person must pass off the objects to the next person in line, who will then reset the course as quickly as possible.

The third person in line will go down the line, picking up the objects along the way and carry them back.

Play continues until everyone on the team has had a turn to go.

The team to complete the relay will win!


Today, we’re going to learn about a man with an unusual name…. Mephibosheth.

The Bible tells us about a time when King David is looking for his best friend's son, Mephibosheth, to show him kindness and raise him to a place of honor.

David’s best friend was Johnathan. 

Johnathan died in battle and left behind a son, Mephibosheth.

Mephibosheth’s grandfather was King Saul and the son of David’s best friend, Johnathan.

Mephibosheth was only five years old when he is first mentioned in the Bible.

His story begins in the book of 2 Samuel.

David and Johnathan made friendship promises to each other, saying that they would always honor and care for each other’s families no matter what happened.

Ask: Do you have a best friend that you’d do that for?

Allow a few responses from students.

Perhaps you’ve made a promise to your best friend.

If so, then you know that promises between friends are important to keep.

David knew that, and he vowed to keep his promise.

In a horrific battle one day, both Johnathan and his father, King Saul, were killed.

When this happened, the nurse who took care of Mephibosheth, Johnathan’s son, thought they should escape.

It was custom at that time that if the King were killed, everyone in his family would be too so that there would be no one in the lineage of that ruler left to reclaim the throne.

Read 2 Samuel 4:4.

(Saul’s son Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth, who was crippled as a child.

He was five years old when the report came from Jezreel that Saul and Jonathan had been killed in battle.

When the child’s nurse heard the news, she picked him up and fled.

But as she hurried away, she dropped him, and he became crippled.)

Say: His nurse panicked and she ran away with him in order to save his life in case anyone tried to kill him because he was in the lineage of King Saul.

Mephibosheth survived. 

Upon leaving, Mephibosheth fell and became disabled.

The Bible isn’t very clear about exactly how Mephibosheth’s feet were hurt, other than that the fall left him disabled, but we do know that his feet were injured and he didn’t walk the same after that.

Mephibosheth grew up in the home of a kind man, but he stayed hidden from society just in case the new king would find him and want to hurt him.

David had finally become king and he remembered the promise that he had made to his friend Johnathan.

That promise was to take care of each other’s families.

He wondered if Johnathan had any family still alive, so he decided to investigate.

David called upon Ziba, who had been a servant in King Saul’s palace.

David asked him if he knew any of Johnathan’s family who might still be alive.

Ziba knew of a crippled son.

David found out where that crippled son, Mephibosheth, lived and sent for him.

David said, “Bring Johnathan’s son to me. Find this son of Johnathan and bring him to me.”

When Mephibosheth heard that King David wanted to see him, he must’ve been frightened considering the custom of that time.

Mephibosheth mustered up the courage and we to see King David.

What a surprise it was when Mephibosheth learned that King David was thrilled to see him!

Here was Johnathan’s son, standing before King David.

He missed his friend so deeply, but having Mephibosheth right there somehow made him feel a little better.

King David told Mephibosheth not to be afraid.

Because of his father Johnathan, David showed Mephibosheth extreme kindness.

David offered Mephibosheth an unbelievable present.

King David gave Mephibosheth ALL the land that had belonged to his grandfather, King Saul.

That wasn’t all!

King David invited Mephibosheth to come to the palace and eat his meals at the King’s table.

That was a place that only the family and closest friends were invited to.

Even though Mephibosheth thought that going before King David could only be disastrous, the kindness that David showed honored Mephibosheth.

Also, King David assigned Ziba and all of Ziba’s family and servants to Mephibosheth so they could take care of the land that David had given him.

Extreme kindness changed everything.

The same is true for our relationship with Christ.

God shows extreme kindness to us because of who his Son is, Jesus Christ.

Had it not been for God’s kindness to forgive our sins, we wouldn’t be able to have a relationship with him.

We wouldn’t have the hope of eternal life with Christ.

God shows extreme kindness to us because of who Jesus is.

Favor was show upon Mephibosheth because of the relationship his father had with the King.

Today, God shows favor to us because of our relationship with his Son, Jesus.

King David can teach us all a lesson about what it means to show kindness to people who may not have done anything to deserve it.

Mephibosheth wasn’t an enemy, but he didn’t have a relationship with King David like his father, Johnathan did.

I wonder what our schools, our families, and our communities would look like if we were willing to take the approach that David took.

He honored a promise that he had made many years prior and gave honor to his best friend, Johnathan’s son. 

There are so many similarities in the way David chose to show kindness to Mephibosheth and the way God shows kindness to us today.

Mephibosheth felt unacceptable to King David.

We are unacceptable to God.

David looked for Mephibosheth.

God is looking for us.

David showed extreme kindness to Mephibosheth because of who his father was.

God shows extreme kindness to us because of who Jesus is.

David gave Mephibosheth a new home.

God will give us a new home in heaven.

Most of us are willing to show kindness, but we don't know where to start.

Opportunities to show kindness are all around us.

May the Lord help you see ways to show kindness at school, with brothers and sisters, to older people, to your parents, and to others you meet.

Close in prayer.


  1. What do you think it means to “be kind”?
  1. How do you show kindness to others?
  1. Who is the kindest person you know? What do they do that demonstrates kindness?
  1. How does being kind show that you love God?
  1. If you are not kind to others, do you think that affects how others view you as a follower of Jesus? Why or why not?
  1. What did you learn from the story of King David and Mephibosheth?
  1. Are you good at keeping the promises you make to your friends? How could you be better at it?
  1. Do your friends keep the promises that make to you? How does that make you feel?
  1. Think of one thing you can do this week (that you don’t normally do) that would show kindness to someone else. Share it with the group.
  1. Think of someone who isn’t kind to you. Take a couple of minutes and pray for that person.


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