O, HOW I LOVE JESUS written in 1855
If you were to guess, what would you think this song is about?
If you were to only focus on the chorus, you might assume this hymn is about our love for Jesus. If you were to focus on the last 5 words of the chorus, you might assume it is about Jesus’ love for us. That’s close… but not quite right.
The verses of this hymn were written by a British minister named Frederick Whitfield in 1855. And he probably never heard the chorus that was later attached to it. The chorus is a 19th-century American folk song that was sung in many camp meetings at that time.
Whitfield was born in 1829 in Shropshire, England. Following his education at Trinity College in Dublin, he was ordained in the Church of England and became curate of Otley, vicar of Kirkby-Ravensworth, senior curate of Greenwich and vicar of St. John’s Bexley. His appointment in 1875 to St. Mary’s Church in Hastings signaled the pinnacle of his career. A prolific writer, he left around 30 volumes of poetry and prose.
So, what did Frederick intend this song to be about? It’s about Jesus’ name!
In v.1, we praise the name of Jesus.
In v.2, we remember He was named Jesus because it described what He was sent here to do… to save people from their sins.
In v.3, we remember that Jesus gives us daily hope and help.
In v.4, the name of Jesus reminds us He bears our sorrow and our pain.
It’s no wonder we love Jesus. After all, He first loved us!
Read this hymn, and – today – focus on the name of Jesus!
There is a name I love to hear, I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in mine ear, the sweetest name on earth.
O, How I love Jesus! O, How I love Jesus!
O, How I love Jesus… because He first loved me!
It tells me of a Savior’s love, Who died to set me free;
It tells me of His precious blood, the sinner’s perfect plea.
It tells me what my Father hath in store for every day,
and though I tread a darksome path, yields sunshine all the way.
It tells of One whose loving heart can feel my deepest woe,
Who in each sorrow bears a part that none can bear below.