Jesus Loves Me This I Know is one of the world’s most beloved hymns penned in 1860 by Anna Bartlett Warner as a poem in the novel called Say and Seal, written by her older sister Susan Warner. The tune and chorus (“Yes Jesus loves me; Yes Jesus Loves me…”) were added in 1862 by William Batchelder Bradbury, who composed tunes to hymns such as He Leadeth Me, Just As I Am, Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us, My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less, and Sweet Hour of Prayer.
Table of Contents
Jesus Loves Me Song
Jesus Loves Me This I Know Lyrics
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.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.
2 Jesus loves me, he who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide.
He will wash away my sin,
Let his little child come in. [Refrain]
3 Jesus loves me, this I know,
As he loved so long ago,
Taking children on his knee,
Saying, “Let them come to me.” [Refrain]
Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.
Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.
Story Behind Jesus Loves Me Song — Author Biography & Poem Origins
This catchy gospel song has a great back story. Anna Bartlett Warner, who traced her lineage back to the Puritan Pilgrims, wrote the words of this song. It appeared as a poem in the 1860 bestselling novel “Say and Seal”, which was written by Susan Warner (1819-1885), Anna’s sister. The sisters who lost their mother at an early age were daughters of a successful New York City lawyer and investor, Henry Warner, who lost most of his wealth in the panic of 1837 (a financial crisis that triggered a multi-year economic depression in the United States) and subsequent lawsuits and poor investments.
The family was forced to leave their home at St. Mark’s Place in New York and moved to a dilapidated Revolutionary War-era farmhouse in West Point (near The United States Military Academy or USMA) on Constitution Island in New York in 1838.
Seeing no improvement in their financial situation, the sisters started writing to earn their livelihood. The sisters who were devout Christians and never married wrote 106 stories and poems between them. They worked together on 18 books and wrote under pen names Amy Lothrop (Anna) and Elizabeth Wetherell (Susan). Susan wrote 30 novels, but her most popular novel was “The Wide, Wide World,” which was published in 1850 and was translated into several languages. Other than Uncle Tom’s Cabin, it was perhaps the most widely circulated story of the time.
Anna Warner wrote 31 novels including, In West Point Colors, Dollars and Cents, and a biography of her sister. Robinson Crusoe’s Farmyard, played with colored cards painted by the sisters, was an educational game invented by Anna. She also published two collections of verse in Hymns of the Church Militant (1858) and Wayfaring Hymns (1869).
The sisters held regular Bible Studies for the cadets in West Point, and Anna wrote a new hymn each month for her Sunday School class. Sharing the love of Jesus Christ became the mission of their lives.
The popularity of the Jesus Loves Me song was so huge that both the sisters were buried with military honors in the West Point Cemetery (the only civilians) due to their contribution to the spiritual health of the soldiers.
Jesus Loves Me This I Know Poem Origins
Anna Warner wrote Jesus Loves Me This I Know at the request of Susan Warner, who needed a poem for the novel Say and Seal. The words are spoken to comfort a dying child, Johnny Fax, by his Sunday School teacher Mr. John Linden. Two of the characters in the novel, Faith Derrick and John Endecott Linden, are very much concerned about a feverish child named Johnny Fax.
As the child’s condition worsens, the boy asks Linden to take him up in his arms and comfort him. Linden picks up the sick boy, walks to and fro across the room, and tries to console him. Suddenly, the boy, who is in pain, asks him to sing. The Sunday School teacher sings a soothing song which neither Faith nor Johnny has heard before. After a few hours, the child goes to be with Jesus Christ, the Savior who loved him immeasurably.
The cadets of West Point would sing the song Jesus Loves Me This I know for solace when they were on the battlefields during the American Civil War. The song became extremely popular among soldiers on both sides of the lines who found consolation in the song.
Jesus Loves Me This I know is one of the first hymns missionaries taught to new converts and children worldwide. It grew in popularity and was translated into more languages than any other spiritual song. Many people have found spiritual comfort with its simple direct message of God’s ultimate love for humans.
The simple lyrics of Jesus Loves Me song confirm that God loves us despite our transgressions and unfaithfulness. Our Almighty Creator is walking this journey with us, never leaving us, and sustaining us even in our most severe trials. He is our strength and song. It is said that people who are dying prefer to sing this beautiful song in their last moments on Earth as it cheers them up and gives them hope for eternal life. The love of Jesus Christ is the only thing we can take from this world to heaven. It is unchanging, unfailing, and unconditional.
The Jesus Loves Me song shows us that everything fades away and becomes obsolete except the love of Christ ( 1 Corinthians 13:8) (Jeremiah 31: 3). Jesus proved His love toward humanity by suffering and dying on the cross for our sins. The Jesus Loves Me song has been sung for generations for about 160 years, and people have loved this plain little song glorifying God with their voices.
Come and tune with our eclectic collection of Sunday school songs for kids, which will encourage children to worship God with joy and thanksgiving. The stories behind the songs will make them see each one in a different light and get them excited to follow Jesus with faith and love.