The Most Loved Gospel Hymn Among Kids
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Every day God is working powerfully in the lives of little children around the world who are told how much Jesus loves them. Thankfully, there are few barriers in the hearts of children preventing them from being gently led into the arms of their loving Savior.

A couple in our church recently invited me over to their home to share some Bible stories with their grandchildren ages 7, 5 and 3. Tammy and I have enjoyed a close friendship with this couple ever since we moved to this community with our four children 21 years ago.

The Bible story time was a combination of instruction, laughter and fun. I started with Max Lucado’s children’s book, Just in Case You Ever Wonder. This illustrated classic, which has sold more than a million copies, beautifully describes the love between a parent and a child — and ultimately between God the Father and us.

I also read the children Noah and the Noisy Ark from The Beginner’s Bible. And I taught them the song, “Jesus Loves Me.” I was told a few days later that the girls were singing “Jesus Loves Me” all day, and that it warmed their Mom’s heart when they sang it to her. 

Imagine if every child in the world had the opportunity to learn this song and celebrate Christ’s love for them!

This beloved song was penned in 1860 by Anna Bartlett Warner, and was originally written as a poem. The tune and chorus were added in 1862 by William Batcheldeer Bradbury, who composed tunes to hymns such as “He Leadeth Me,” “Just As I Am,” “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less,” and “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” 

The first verse of “Jesus Loves Me” and the refrain are the most well-known:

Jesus loves me — this I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong —
They are weak, but He is strong.


Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me —
The Bible tells me so!
And the second verse presents this life-changing message:
Jesus loves me — He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.

These lyrics convey the Gospel in simplicity and power. It is no surprise that “Jesus Loves Me” has become the most loved children’s song of all time. I sure enjoy singing it to our 7-month-old granddaughter. And it won’t be long before she will be learning to sing it herself.

“In 1943 in the Solomon Islands, John F. Kennedy’s PT-109 was rammed and sunk. Islanders who found Kennedy and the survivors remember that when they rode on PT boats to retrieve the survivors, the Marines sang ‘Jesus Loves Me’ with the natives, who had learned it from Seventh-day Adventist missionaries.”

The Swiss-German theologian Karl Barth was one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century. When delivering a lecture to a group of seminary students near the end of his life, Barth was asked, “Of all the theological insights you have ever had, which do you consider to be the greatest of them all?” After closing his eyes and thinking for a minute, he said, “The greatest theological insight that I have ever had is this: Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so!”

God’s love for us is not a sentimental love, but rather, a sacrificial love poured out in the life and blood of the Savior. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus said, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). 

Bryn and Sally Hayworth wrote the hymn, “What Kind of Love is This.” It presents the good news that has been transforming lives around the world for the past 2,000 years.

What kind of love is this
That gave itself for me 
I am the guilty one
Yet I go free
What kind of love is this
A love I’ve never known
I didn’t even know His name
What kind of love is this

What kind of man is this
Who died in agony
He who had done no wrong
Was crucified for me
What kind of man is this
Who laid aside His throne
That I might know the love of God
What kind of man is this

God created a powerful combination of music and lyrics. Whether it is “Jesus Loves Me,” “What Kind of Love is This,” or some other Gospel hymn, our hearts and minds are lifted heavenward when we sing these inspiring songs to the Lord.

As Martin Luther astutely noted, “Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise.”

Are you burdened by the cares of this world and the worries of life? Don’t despair. Jesus loves you. Christ died for your sins on the cross. Bask in the love of God and allow the Lord to renew your spirit. Nothing else can rescue us from our sins, or from our natural tendency toward pessimism and negativity. 

Come to God today with the faith of a child as you sing, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” If U.S. Marines, little children and theologians can sing it, so can you!

By Dan Delzell, Christian Post Contributor

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

Originally published on The Christian Post

(c) The Christian Post, used with permission

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