Around 1860, Anna B. Warner penned the following words that were later extended and set to music by William B. Bradbury and continue to be sung around the world:
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.
While often considered a children’s Bible School song, these words are nevertheless profound. When Karl Barth (1886–1968), the famous Swiss theologian, visited the United States in 1962 and lectured at Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago, he was asked to summarize all the millions of words he had written. He is reported to have thought for a moment and then replied, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
God’s love for sinful humanity is the Bible’s theme. At the heart of the gospel is God’s gift of Jesus Christ to all the world as the atoning sacrifice for sin. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The tremendous truth expressed here in what has often been called the Golden Text of the Bible is reiterated throughout the pages of the New Testament. Consider the following:
“God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).