Now if Jesus were here I think we’d find Him today
Down at Johnny’s Cafe.
This line worked well as the punchline of the song, but it’s a little misleading. It implies that Jesus isn’t here today. Well, true, Jesus isn’t here physically — just as the song represents — but there are many other ways in which He is here.
First and foremost, He is here in us. This is why we are His body. We now are the physical presence of Christ in the world; we are His hands and feet. We see with His eyes and hear with His ears. So when we walk into Johnny’s Cafe or its equivalent — Jesus does too. This is why we need to be conscious of Him at all times — what’s on His agenda? What’s important to Him? What does He want with us? Am I at Johnny’s Cafe for the pancakes or is there something Jesus has in mind for my being there? It’s a way we need to train ourselves to think at all times. It’s no longer just you and me in the world; it’s you, me and Christ. Remember WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?)? Well this is more like WDJWTDTU (What Does Jesus Want To Do Through Us?). This takes learning about the heart of God, coming to know His will, and learning to think like Christ. Now we can get lots of that instantly through His Holy Spirit, but we also learn a lot of it over time with Bible study, prayer, meditation and experience. That’s part of what discipleship is.
Secondly, Jesus told us that whatever we do to help the poor, hungry and impoverished — what He called “the least of these” — we do it unto Him. Whether He means He is the least of these or that He is so closely associated with them and their needs that what we do for them we might as well be doing for Him, I don’t think it matters. It’s the same for us either way. Treat the poor as if they were Jesus Himself. I think that’s what He wants.
And then finally, there’s one more way we find Jesus down at Johnny’s Cafe: we look for Him in everybody. I am learning to speak to the Spirt of God in everyone, whether I know He’s there or not, just in case. I believe He is there before the person knows it, anyway, so why not take a chance? Certainly there is nothing to lose. And if I’m right, I will be tugging on the heart of someone who already can sense something even if they can’t explain it.
So go ahead, Jesus is here today in so many ways at Johnny’s Cafe. So let’s go find Him!