Exploring Coming Like a Thief in the Night

At Luke 14:13 we see the beginning of a very interesting exchange between the risen Messiah and His disciples. Yeshua has been resurrected and He conceals His identity from His followers. He listens to them mournfully explain the loss of their beloved teacher and leader. They travel together for quite a while and invite this stranger to stay with them and even feed Him. As He blessed the meal and begins to distribute it, they recognize Him and He vanishes. This is a small fulfillment of something Yeshua had taught His disciples:

“But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.” Matthew 24:43-46

Jesus came back, even when they should have been expecting it but weren’t, and He found His servants doing His will. 

I thought of this when watching a television show called “Undercover Boss” recently. Finding wholesome programming today is an incredible chore, but I have found this show to be a blessing the few times I’ve seen it. The show’s basis is that the wealthy executives of corporations go undercover as low-level employees in their companies. They find out how hard the jobs really are and learn of their employees’ individual hardships. The episode I saw recently made that made me think of Matthew 24 and Luke 14 had the CEO of Fatburger going undercover to visit a number of his restaurants and the production side of his business.

When the CEO visits the production side, he is assigned to work an entry level job sorting hamburger buns really fast off of a line. He botches it. The supervisor, who has 25 years’ experience with the company, shows immense patience and it doesn’t work out. So the supervisor moves the CEO to another station where he crashes and burns again. The supervisor shows immense patience to the CEO, pats him on the back, and says “maybe you will do better on the clean-up crew”. The supervisor’s behavior is a model for all who manage entry level people. 

At the end of the show, the undercover bosses always reveal themselves to the people they worked with. Most times the lower level employees who did well get rewarded and the ones who did poorly get fired. The supervisor who did well was rewarded handsomely, just like Yeshua promises for us if He finds us doing His will. During this episode, there was a man in authority who was discovered to be mistreating his servants and running a sloppy Fatburger restaurant. This man had to face his accuser, the manager of the franchise he owned and operated.

Guess what happened when the franchise owner was confronted with his malfeasance?  Did he try to deny it or explain it away? Nope. He confessed! He was repentant! And guess what the CEO did? He forgave the man and even forgave his debt. There is a scriptural parallel with this, too: 

Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.” And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. “When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. “You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. “You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7: 39-47 NASB)

I am pretty confident that the franchise owner, who had been forgiven much, took the grace he was shown and extended it to others.

Here is the entire episode of Undercover Boss on Youtube. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! The parts I referenced start around the 20 minute mark.