the gospel in “undercover boss”

This post originally appeared in a newspaper article I wrote in April.


One of the new spring shows that I’ve enjoyed watching is “Undercover Boss”.  If you are unfamiliar with the show, it’s about a CEO of a company who steps down from his position for a week and experiences first-hand the various positions of his company.   He works alongside his own employees, doing jobs he’s never done all while the employees are not aware of his true identity.  Some jobs are more difficult than others.  At times the CEO has been fired by his own people.  The conclusion of each episode is the CEO being revealed to the employees for who he really is and the praise or criticism that is due.

It reminds me of the story of Jesus. John 1:10 says “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.”  The employees featured on “Undercover Boss” do not recognize the CEO because the understanding is that he is in some corporate office.  Somewhere far away.  There is never a thought that the person they are working with is the one who runs the company.

Jesus laid aside the glory that was his in heaven and amazingly the Creator of the universe entered our planet through a birth canal.  He lived the life of a servant and died the death of a criminal.  Philippians  2:6 says that Christ “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

As shocking as it may seem to see a CEO of a large waste management company cleaning out port a potty’s at a fairground, it’s even more unfathomable to think of the God of the universe taking on human flesh and ultimately dying the horrific death of the most heinous of criminals.  And here is one of the most amazing things of it all: He did it not to be just an example, but to be a substitute.   It was our sin that majorly messed things up.  It’s the reason life is broken with all its pain.  Sin destroys.  The only way to make things right was for the Creator of the universe to fix it.  He not only got his hands dirty but extremely bloody.  It was our place he took.

Now think of any large company whose name is rocked by scandal or controversy.  There are going to be firings to protect the name of the company.  God could have done that.  He could have just “fired” all of us.  But for the sake of his name he provided a way by which his name would be upheld and glorified and we can be saved.  That way is only through Christ.  Do you recognize him? Are you ready to face him?

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