The other day, my grandkids and I were singing the song “Jesus Loves Me.”
I know that you know it, too, because it’s probably one of the first Christian songs any child learns, and is always a favorite of both the young and old. I wondered afterwards how that song came to be written, so I looked it up online.
The song “Jesus Loves Me” was not originally a song at all. It was written as a poem, but not in a book of poetry. It actually comes from a novel written in the 1800s called “Say and Seal” by the author Anna Bartlett Warner (Aug. 31, 1827 – Jan. 22, 1915.) The main character in this book recites it to comfort a dying child about how much Jesus loves him.
Then in 1860, a man named William B. Bradbury, who wrote many hymns, just happened to read Anna’s book. He loved the poem so much that he decided to set it to music, and he added the chorus.
Most people do not realize that there are actually four verses to the song because we usually just sing the first one and the chorus. The verses are:
1. Jesus loves me; this I know! For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong; they are weak, but He is strong.
2. Jesus loves me, loves me still! Tho’ I’m very weak and ill. That I might from sin be free, bled and died upon the tree.
3. Jesus loves me; He who died. Heaven’s gate to open wide. He will wash away my sin; let His little child come in.
4. Jesus loves me; He will stay! Close beside me all way. Thou hast bled and died for me; I will henceforth live for Thee.
Chorus: Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.
And yes, Jesus does love you, and me, and everyone — no matter who they are or where they live or what they look like. He loves each and every one the same and wants them to be His children. Have someone sing “Jesus Loves Me” with you and thank Him for loving us all so much!
Let’s pray together: Jesus, thank You for giving us this song that we know and love to remind us of just how much You really do love us. We know that You never leave us alone and forgive us when we do wrong, so we never have to worry or be afraid. Help us keep the words and this song in our hearts, so we never forget those things. Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church.