So many people have sung this simple children’s tune countless times, both as children and as adults, and being that it is a children’s song it is often easy to forget, or simply not look at, how profound and deep it is. Have you ever taken the time to examine this one, 4-word, phrase? I hadn’t really, but it struck me yesterday, as we were singing this line in our Easter service, that is is truly a remarkable phrase. Let me show you.
The first word seems like a fairly “innocent” word without much meaning, but that’s not the case. When we start this line by saying “Yes” we are making a strong declaration. It is an affirmative that says, “What I am about to say is true and holds weight, and you may try to denounce it and argue it, but where you say ‘no’ or ‘I’m not sure’ I say ‘YES’” It is setting the stage for the words that follow as something more than a suggestion or a good idea. We are declaring Truth in what we are about to say, and it is how we should endeavor to live our lives, to start every morning declaring Truth in Christ, by taking up our cross daily and affirming that we will follow Him that day, whatever comes, whatever happens, whomever speaks against it or says, “no,” we will declare and affirm that “Yes” we know that Christ is real and alive, and we will follow Him.
So just what are we declaring and affirming Truth in? How about Truth Himself. We say the name, “Jesus” so much, especially in church/Bible Study, that I think we sometimes lose sight of, both the power of the name and exactly who it is we are talking about. When we say, “Jesus” we are talking about God Himself. We are talking about the author/perfecter/embodiment of life, love, light, truth, healing … He is the creator of everything (including us), the sacrifice and atonement for our sins, the judge over everything, and the victor over death. Jesus is the Almighty who humbled Himself to our status (which is quite the humility), who lived, suffered and died for us, and who then utterly and completely shattered the power of sin and death by rising from the dead in and of His own power. He was a prophet, and a good man, and a teacher, and a humanitarian. He cared about children, and the poor/destitute, and the sick, and the criminals, and the prostitutes, and the every day man, as well as the influential, and the religious leaders, and the politicians. He shaped and changed the course of human history after being the author of Humanity in the first place. This is God we are talking about. Let that sink in for just a minute.
Now we come to the action in this sentence. What is happening, and what is happening is love. We all crave love, no matter how much you may try to hide or deny it, in the words of DC Talk, “We all wanna be loved.” Love is remarkably powerful, and it drives so much of what we do in our lives, but here we are affirming that love is happening, and not just that love is occurring, but that Jesus, again, the pure embodiment of love itself, is loving. This sort of love has got to be more powerful than anything else you can imagine. It is pure, undiluted, uncontaminated love. That sort of love should hit you like a ton of bricks, knock the wind out of you, and leave you on your knees overwhelmed by the force, the joy, the … love. And this is what we are affirming, that not only does pure powerful love exist, but that it is bestowed on something/someone. “Yes, Jesus Loves…” This is mind blowing already, but the next word puts it into a whole new level.
At last, we finally get to the subject of the sentence, and it’s almost unbelievable. Like a twist ending in a great movie, when we get to the word “me” we should do a double-take, our mouths should hang open in amazement and confusion. Why? Well who is “me” or “you” or “us?” We are humans, we are flawed and disobedient and selfish and generally evil. We all, each and every one of us, no matter how “good” or “bad” we view ourselves or others view us, have sinned, which basically means we have stained ourselves into a filthy mess that we can never quite get clean, no matter how hard we try. We have a propensity for darkness, death, evil, violence, crime, and basically any and everything else bad you can think of. We humans are great at being really bad to each other. That’s not to say there’s not good as well, but, like I said before, no matter how much good, we all have that dark stain on our hearts. And this stained mess is the recipient of the all powerful breathtaking love we already affirmed. You generally think that something that powerful, that valuable, that beautiful should only be bestowed on the most powerful/beautiful/worthy in some fashion, but it is bestowed on “me,” the most unworthy recipient. And what is important to realize here as well is that, just because this is a twist and surprising, it’s not about “me.” That’s what makes it so beautiful. The subject here is Jesus. The important thing to notice is Jesus and the idea is complete to simply say “Jesus Loves.” The fact that, in His love, He has deemed to make “me” the object of that love is simply beautiful and it reveals, nothing about “me” or “my” importance, but speaks volumes about who Jesus is and the power of His love!
We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all. — Isaiah 53:6