One of the mot famous children’s songs sung in churches and Christian households is “Jesus Loves Me”. It was one of the first (if not the first) songs I ever learned, and even the melody is instantly recognizable to most people. The lyrics of the song are simple, yet profound… they are as follows:
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.
Of course there are additional verses, and some modifications to the main song in certain regions, but even so, this song has “gone around the world”, with millions upon millions of people singing it. Today, I would like us to examine this song, as the Holy Spirit reveals the truths of Jesus, hidden in what appears to be a simple children’s song.
When I was a young child singing this song, I didn’t really understand what I was singing. To my younger self, it was just a fun song with a happy melody. It surprised me then when I took time as an adult to think about it all, and realize that the same mindset was still with me… singing the song without really comprehending what I was singing.
Take for example the first three words of the song: Jesus loves me… There are a lot of people who are completely unaware that Jesus loves them. They do not see Him in a loving way, nor do they recognize His love towards them. Yet Romans 5:8 makes it clear that God did indeed in a very real and personal way, demonstrate His love for us:
“But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Take note of this; let it sink in… while we were yet sinners is not a frivolous statement – not in the slightest. While we were dead in our own sins; while we were as far away from God as we ever could possibly be – at that very moment, is when God demonstrated His love for us in the most powerful way possible, by sending His only begotten beloved Son, to die in our place.
Furthermore, God declares in Jeremiah 31:3 that He has indeed loved His people with an everlasting love. Now if we stop to consider the history of the people of God, and how they were always rebelling, complaining, doubting and disobeying; the statement of an everlasting love which God loves hem with is quite amazing! And then if we take a look at verse 4 of Jeremiah 31, we see this:
“Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin of Israel: you shall again be adorned with your tabrets, and shall go forth in the dances of them that make merry.”
Take special notice of the fact that God calls Israel a virgin! This is remarkable because we know that Israel consistently played the harlot when it came to idolatry and mistrust of God (Jeremiah 3:8). Yet even so, the LORD still calls her a virgin. This is a statement of pure divine love. This is the way in which God sees His people. And today this is also the way He sees you. You may have played the harlot just like Israel did… and you may think that as a result of that, you are unlovable and rejected by God, but nothing could be further from the truth!
As we grab hold of this reality about the character of God and the way that He sees us, it will most certainly cause us to dance and be merry going forward exactly as the verse states. This is true because as hard as it may be for us to accept… as strange and as backwards as it seems to our natural carnal mind and our worldly way of thinking, 1st Corinthians 13:5 is still true, that love keeps no record of wrongs, and it is specifically true of God because God is love (1st John 4:8). In-fact, 1t John 4:8 goes as far as to say this:
“He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.”
Which is strikingly similar to the next three words of our song… this I know. Jesus loves me, this I know. Now a lot of people misinterpret and misapply 1st John 4:8, thinking that they must work hard to conjure up love within themselves, and that they need to strive in order to love others – and they turn the whole thing into a work, a self-effort of man, and they end up missing the whole point. You see, the focus really is not about us and our work and our love, but about Jesus, His finished work and His perfect love for us. The funny thing is, our children’s song put the whole thing right in-front of our face, and we still managed to miss it; because the song doesn’t say “we love eachother, this I know”, and it also doesn’t say “I love you the best I can within myself, this I know” – instead it says “Jesus loves me, this I know”. The whole focus is Jesus and His love for us.
Now, because I’m well aware that the children’s song is not really divine doctrine, and so we cannot use it as our foundation… so take a look at verses 7 through 9 of 1st John 4, and examine verse 8 in the surrounding context of the other verses:
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.
He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”
Notice that verse 7 begins with Beloved, the Spirit didn’t say “brethren” here, nor did the Spirit simply call us “friends” here, or even “little children”. I want you to see that God is addressing you as His beloved. And in verse 9, the proper focus of verse 8 is given, the foundational focus of Jesus on the cross; His perfect demonstration of love is precisely how you receive. If you do know know God in this way, then you don’t know God at all. I apologize for being so blunt here, but this is Biblical truth – and indeed, we live through Jesus Christ; we live through what He has done. So if we are not receiving His love through His finished work on the cross… if we aren’t owning our identity through Him, then we aren’t living at all!
There are people who have a really hard time with this. They are stuck on the treadmill of trying to live for Jesus instead of living through Jesus. They are still works-focused and merit-centered. Trying to measure-up and earn what He gives freely. They haven’t received the truth of His love; they do not know that Jesus loves them unconditionally, and that love keeps no record of wrongs, and that is exactly what we have been given in the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:12)
Jesus loves you, and He wants you to know it, He wants you to be sure of His love for you… and you have a way to be: the Bible tells you so. Which is the third line of our song. The very purpose of the Bible is to show you Jesus, His finished work and His love for you which is demonstrated in that work. (Psalms 40:7, Hebrews 10:7 Luke 24:27)
Nothing would delight God more and give Him more honor, than for us to simply recognize and receive what He has done for us. How Jesus died for us to live, How He took our sin and gave us His righteousness. Everything the Bible depicts revolves around this very truth. When will we stop trying to win a battle that has already been won? When will we stop trying to wash what is already perfectly clean? When will we learn, what we have been singing for all of these years… little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong!
You see, we belong to Him. We are His little ones, and we belong to Him. And I know that it is not popular to think of yourself “belonging” to anyone else today. We value our independence and self-reliance today. However there is incredible benefit in the reality of you belonging to God. In a previous study, we saw how there is great reason to rejoice that we are not our own but belong to God. In that study, we read 1st Corinthians 6:19-20, which is usually taught in a negative manner and in a condemning way:
“What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?
For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Here’s the life-changing truth of this… because your body is not your own, you can rest in he fact that the One who does own it (God) and who loves you so very much (God again) will take good care of you! You no longer need to worry, or be in fear regarding your life. You have been bought with a price. You are not a misfit, you are not unloved, and you are well taken-care of. These verses were not placed here for preachers to use to beat people down or to make them afraid – they are actually fantastic encouragements about your value and worth to God, in that you have the Spirit of Christ indwelling you, and that God paid everything to redeem you!
Now the next part of our song: they are weak, but He is strong, is another part that our culture doesn’t like today. Most people don’t want to think about themselves being weak. We value our strength and our capabilities just as much as our independence. However in 2nd Corinthians 12:9, God says that His Grace is sufficient, and that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. The places were we are weakest and least able are often the places where God can be seen most clearly, because our pride has nothing to boast about in those areas! And here’s the ultimate rub… Jesus says in John 15:5 that without Him, we can do nothing! We tend to not really believe that. We like to think that we can still do some things without Him, and when we get stuck then we turn to God and He helps us through the place where we finally got stuck… but no, we can actually do absolutely nothing without Him – without His life we are the walking dead… utterly helpless!
Without Him, we can do nothing, but with Him, all things are possible, and we will bear much fruit. And remember, it’s a fruit, a product of His Spirit, a produce from the relationship… its is not a work or a striving, or a result of man’s efforts
The final lines from our children’s song, are Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me… he Bible tells me so.
It’s an affirmation, an agreement and acknowledgment of what is true. Psalms 107:2 says:
“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the enemy”
Yet not many people are saying so today. Ask a typical church-goer how their life is, and you had better grab a seat and some emergency rations, because you will hear a long list of complaints and various tales of how they are being beaten down by the world and the enemy. It’s enough to make anyone who hears it to go running the other way. No casual bystander would want any part of that! However the scripture says here that we should be agreeing with the truth!
Regardless of the day or what worldly pressures or circumstances may say about us, the truth is that we are redeemed! The LORD has delivered us from the hand of the enemy! We are not defeated… indeed we cannot be defeated, we can never be beaten! In Christ we have already won!
We should stop living by our five senses and our circumstances, and start living by the truth of the living God!
So many people say “well if God loves me, then why did this happen” “If God really loved me then…[fill in the blank]”
Jesus loves me, this I know! For the Bible tells me so!
The moment we allow our own circumstances and reasoning to speak louder than truth, and exchange the truth of God’s word for something else, we have just imprisoned and bound ourselves because it’s the truth that makes us free.
Yes, Jesus loves you! He bought you with His own broken body and shed blood! You’re redeemed! Now start living redeemed!
His love is now and present, and everlasting and it never fails! That is your God and you are His beloved.
Top using your current, temporal circumstances to question eternal truth. The price is too high, and He paid dearly for you to be sure that you are loved. And that’s why this book was written called the Bible. Not to give you a set of rules, but to show you how much God loves you and to reintroduce you to Himself.
Receive His love, and live confidently in it from now on.