One of the most popular reality TV shows to hit the airwaves in 2010 was a show called “Undercover Boss.” It remains so popular today that it spawned spin-off shows in over a dozen different countries.
The show has a great story line. The CEO of the company adopts a new identity, complete with a disguise that typically includes wigs, makeup and the like. The boss then shows up as a trainee in one or more of the franchises and faces the same situations that people working for the company do. The situations are fascinating to watch, and the show endings are almost always tear-jerkers.

Skeptics of the program say that there’s no way the show could actually pull it off, but the participants insist that they had no idea what was really going on. The show uses various gambits to explain away the parts of production that cannot be hidden, even going so far as to make up a “win your own franchise” contest with a fake host in one episode. The show’s producers set up different job scenarios for each program, and the bosses participate and get to see the good, the bad and the ugly parts of their business.

Sometimes they find diamonds in the rough, at other times they discover problem employees that cannot be turned around and have to be shown the door. In either case, the drama is fascinating to watch as it unfolds. At the end of the program, the CEO reveals their true identity and rewards people who’ve demonstrated character and commitment. On the other side of the coin, some employees’ behavior has been so bad that they got fired on the spot — on national television.

And that, believe it or not, brings us to today’s verse:

Faithfulness and trust are wound together. People who are faithful can be trusted. Character is developed and demonstrated in the small areas. The foundation that is laid there brings you into situations that allow opportunity for greater impact, greater faithfulness.

Faithfulness is always measured by an external standard. For the believer in Jesus, that standard is the bible. The challenge here is giving God’s word its proper interpretation. It’s far too easy to change the rules (or at least the application of the rules) and try to re-interpret them according to our own warped standards. Before you know it, you’ve twisted things inside-out and come up with the exact opposite of what God communicated.

The television show Undercover Boss often gives a vivid demonstration of people disregarding the rules set up by their employer, changing them arbitrarily or applying them in rude and heartless ways the company never intended. In one episode a front desk worker at a fitness gym literally yelled at a customer as they were passing by, “HEY !!! Your payment is way overdue!” so loudly that shocked gym members stopped in their tracks. As the episode continued, it became apparent that her uncaring rudeness was carried over into most of her dealings, both with customers and other employees. She was let go. In a pizza-shop franchise, one of the employees was changing the recipes on his own. Another fast food shop was literally closed on-the-spot when the CEO observed the General Manager threatening to beat one of the employees for not working hard enough! The CEO took the GM outside, revealed his true identity, and shut down the restaurant for the rest of the day. It re-opened the next day — with a new manager.

But one also gets to see the flip side of the coin, as well. People who love representing the company they work for, and appreciate the opportunity it provides even in the midst of some significant challenges. In one particularly striking example, Mitch Modell, CEO of Modell’s Sporting Goods goes undercover to work in his stores. While “training” for his new position Modell meets a young employee named Angel, who’s a hard worker that gives every job her best effort. Angel knows that anyone entering a minimum wage job at Modell’s age must be facing some tough times, so she encourages him to keep trying and not give up. She reveals that she lives with her children in a local homeless shelter. Before that, Angel says, they struggled to find enough food to eat and regularly slept at bus stops. Angel tells Modell that jobs like this can help both of them turn things around; that with faith and hard work life will get better for him.

Angel’s faithfulness with the little things opens the door for her to be faithful in the large ones. At the end of the episode, when Mitch Modell reveals his true identity to the employees he’s been working with, Angel’s hard work is rewarded beyond anything she could have imagined.

First, Modell praises her hard work, amazing attitude and true caring for those with whom she works. He says her performance is above and beyond any expectations, and so her reward will be, too. Second, Angel gets promoted to the position of Assistant Manager. And with that promotion comes a $14,000 raise in her annual salary. Angel, of course, is stunned and very grateful. Then Modell drops the big news. He hands her a check for a quarter of a million dollars, taxes pre-paid, and tells her to go buy a house and get her family out of the homeless shelter. (I told you the show endings are almost always tear-jerkers!!)


You’ve got to admit, Jesus was the ultimate undercover boss. No one thought that the babe in the manger was actually the creator of the universe. Talk about an impressive disguise !! We can be encouraged that Jesus understands our weakness. He’s walked the path we are walking. He stands with us as one who has been tempted in every way we are, yet without sin. He understands because He has walked among us in human flesh.

And He gave us an example to follow. He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons and preached that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. While He was here, He sent His disciples out to do the same things He had been doing. After He ascended into heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit to empower and enable us to keep healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons and preaching that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

If you want to know how to break the chains the enemy has placed around people, the bible suggests that you share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house. Oh, and when you see the naked, you should buy them clothes and cover them. That advice comes from Isaiah the prophet. But, Jesus made His thoughts on the matter pretty plain, too.

He spoke about what will happen when the Son of Man comes in His glory, with all His angels with Him. Let me tell you, it’s going to be quite a sight !!! Jesus will sit on His glorious throne and all the nations will be gathered before Him. Then Jesus will separate the people one from another, with one group over on His right side and the other group on His left.

He’ll turn to those on His right and say, “Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Wow!!! Think about it. It’s going to be better than the closing moments of Undercover Boss. Then, just like on the show, the “Boss” will start to recount the things He saw; the reasons for the rewards. Jesus will say, “I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.”

Except the people getting the rewards will still not have made the connection!!! The bible says that they’ll ask Jesus, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?” And King Jesus will reply, “I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I was undercover, you didn’t recognize Me. You thought you were showing love to the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, but the truth is — you did for Me.”

Jesus then went through the entire list again with the second group. But they HADN’T done anything, and it didn’t go very well for them. They got “fired” too, but this was with real fire. They got sent to eternal punishment.


Remember when I spoke about how it’s far too easy to change the rules (or at least the application of the rules) and try to re-interpret them according to our own warped standards? About how, before you know it, you’ve twisted things inside-out and come up with the exact opposite of what God communicated. That’s still happening today in some parts of the Church. They try to interpret the scriptures by current “knowledge” and so they miss the depth of God’s wisdom.

For example, there was a group of liberal theologians that used to meet once a year and discuss which miracles of Jesus He probably didn’t really do. They didn’t examine the historical teaching of the church or even the clear statements of the bible; they just formed their own opinions and made decisions. I haven’t heard about them in several years, maybe they finally decided none of them ever happened.

We have entire denominations deciding that the bible isn’t REALLY the word of God, and so they don’t have to follow its teachings. So they abandon positions the Church has held and agreed to for millennia. I think they’re in for a rude awakening when the “Boss” comes back. I wish I was making this next one up; but I’m not. There’s even a “church” in California (where else ??!!) where the pastor and his wife are very proud of the fact that the wife is still active as a XXX porn film star!!! WOW. Talk about twisting things inside-out and coming up with the exact opposite of what God communicated. She may call it “adult entertainment” but something tells me that the “Boss” won’t be amused.

For you and I, this is not dress rehearsal. The program is real. At the end of the program, which is coming sooner than you think, the CEO is going to return, sit upon His throne and reveal His true identity — KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS. And we’ll all stand there while He puts some on His right and the rest on His left.

Choose your side now.


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