A Believer’s Love Song: “Jesus Loves Me”
Love songs are for lovers to assert their love and devotion to each other. The same can be said for “Jesus Loves Me,” a hymn dedicated to proclaiming a believer’s love in Jesus Christ.
The words of “Jesus Loves Me” were written by Anna Bartlett Warner (1827–1915)) and based on the Biblical verse of 1 Corinthians 6:19. It was written in 1859. Its melody is called “China,” by William Batchelder Bradbury (1816–1868). In fact, many hymnals in the 19th-century list this hymn under the melody’s name. It was noted in the hymnals that the title change was because it was loved in the said country.
Originally written as a poem by the same author, “Jesus Loves Me”’ was written in the novel Say and Seal (1860) with three stanzas. As a poem, Warner wrote it as a request from her sister, Anna Warner, the author of the novel. The poem’s context in the story is to provide comfort and love of Jesus Christ to a dying child.
When converted into a hymn, Bradbury inserted an extra refrain and stanza before the original poem’s second to the last stanza. Both poem and hymn have a simple, direct, and compelling message for believers and for people who are first introduced to Jesus Christ. It is said that many missionaries use this hymn in their work to introduce Jesus Christ as Savior and to gain converts to the Christian Faith. Apart from missionaries, this hymn is a favorite among children, the Church and its congregation, and many recording artists. So far, there have been 14 instances singers in their respective albums sang this hymn.
‘Jesus Loves Me” is a pure but genuine expression of love and thanks for Jesus Christ and His gift of Salvation.