As we raise children in the Christian faith, a common theme resounds in how we teach them about the love of God and their relationship with Jesus. One of the most popular children’s songs heard in churches and homes is Jesus Loves Me (this I know for the Bible tells me so). As children, the world can be a scary place, and we work hard to reassure them that they are truly loved.
“Jesus loves the little children.” – Bible or Not?
While this popular church phrase is based upon Biblical principles, it is not in the Bible – it’s a children’s song. Here are the full lyrics to the song, and below is some history about its origins and of course a Bible reference.
Jesus Loves the Little Children Lyrics
By Clare Herbert Woolston
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in his sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
The Bible reference that inspired the song comes from the Gospel of Matthew: “But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven’.” (Matthew 19:14 NKJV). The words of Jesus Loves the Little Children were written by Chicago pastor and preacher Clare Herbert Woolston (1856–1927) and it was put to the tune of an 1864 Civil War song “Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!” written by George Fredrick Root.
Over the years many variations of the lyrics have been introduced, all still with the same enduring message to our children, that Jesus loves them.