Jesus Loves the Little Children

by Guest Blogger Alvin Gann

Have you ever sung the song “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” back in your childhood years? For many Christians, it often brought images to mind of Scripture that told the stories of Jesus with children. Jesus loved little children. They held a special place in His heart.

Here’s a quick reminder about the lyrics for the song (along with the chord chart, for the musicians who are reading this):

G
Jesus loves the little children
D
All the children of the world
G
Red and yellow, black and white
    C       G
They are precious in His sight
          D       G
Jesus loves the little children of the world

Lyrics by: Clare Herbert Woolston
Tune by: George Frederick Root

Over time, the song has been extended as well. For example, here is a version by Cedarmount Kids:

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow, black and white
They are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

Jesus died for all the children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow, black and white
They are precious in His sight
Jesus died for all the children of the world.

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow, black and white
They are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

Red, brown, yellow, black and white
They are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

Many songs about Jesus and children from our childhood are songs worth remembering, but “Jesus Loves the Little Children” is a classic song that is very special, because many people love to teach this song to their children or teach it to kids at church.

Did you know that the song “Jesus Loves the Little Children” actually originated as a civil war ballad? It went like this:

Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! The boys are marching
Cheer up, comrades, they will come
All beneath the starry flag
We shall breathe the air again
Of the free land in our own beloved home

The song “Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!” was written by George Frederick Root. It was written during the Civil War in the USA from 1861-1865. George Root’s goal in writing the song was to raise the morale of the prisoners during the war. At a later time, Clare Herbert Woolston, a lyricist, writer and preacher, wrote the lyrics of “Jesus Loves the Little Children” to the tune of “Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!”

The song “Jesus Loves the Little Children” was likely inspired by this Bible verse:

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 19:14 English Standard Version (ESV)

The context for this verse tells us that when people brought children to Jesus, seeking prayer and blessing for them, they were rebuked by Jesus’ disciples. Unfortunately, the disciples thought that the children were not worth Jesus’ time. They thought the best thing to do would be to send the children away. But Jesus disagreed. He was upset with His disciples and brought the children to him. He even used them as an example to explain that it only takes a simple faith, like that of a child, to enter into the kingdom of God.

What can we learn from this story in Matthew 19:14 and from the song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children”?

  1. Children Matter: Jesus cares deeply about children. They matter to Him!
  2. A Simple Faith: Jesus made it clear that it only takes a simple faith in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven. It doesn’t require you to work your way into heaven. Just a simple faith like that of a child allows you to believe in Jesus, repent of your sin, and begin following Him.
  3. Love Children: As Christians, we should love children. They are a blessing from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). As we love them, we are also called to raise children in the ways of the Lord (Deuteronomy 4:4-9, Ephesians 6:4).
  4. Lead Children to Jesus: Children need to hear about Jesus, just like all of us do! The #1 time that people begin following Christ is during their childhood, especially before their teenage years.

If you’re interested in learning more or would like to learn how to use this song in your home or in your church, then take a look at the resource by Let the Little Children Come on Jesus Loves the Little Children. Included there are:

  • Videos of the song
  • Song lyrics and chords
  • Several medley recordings of this song, along with other songs, including: “Jesus Loves Me,” “Jesus Loves Even Me,” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”
  • A split track of the song
  • A sign language video for this song
  • A history for the song
  • . . . and more helpful resources!

Visit Let The Little Children Come for resources on leading a child to Christ and other child evangelism resources.

______________________________________________________

Guest blogger: Alvin Gan

Alvin Gan is the father of three noisy (but lovely) teenagers and founder of 2 websites that provide creative evangelism and discipleship resources.

www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com  specializes in unique child evangelism tools and resources to help convey the plan of salvation for kids effectively.

www.BibleGamesCentral.com develops Bible games for youths, kids and even adults to teach spiritual truths.

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