This is one of my favorite songs. I learned this song as a teenager and sang it to my children when they were babies. It has a beautiful melody. While the author is unknown, most commonly the song’s origin is credited to the African American spirituals. Regardless of its origins, the impact of the song is apparent. The song begins with the women singing and the men echoing the same words. With only 4 verses the song reflects the heart of the singer and his desire to have Jesus as the center of his life.
I want Jesus to walk with me I want Jesus to walk with me All along my pilgrim journey I want Jesus to walk with me 2. In my trial, He'll walk with me 3. In my sorrow, He'll walk with me 4. I love Jesus and He loves me
Each verse of the song is based on a scriptural thought. We can read in Peter’s first letter that we follow Jesus because we are called and He suffered for us. “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:” 1 Peter 2:21. In 1 John, we read that we walk as Jesus walked. “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” 1 John 2:6. In Leviticus, God instructs the Israelites to keep His commandments and tells them, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” Leviticus 26:12. When we sing this song with understanding, we should understand that “to want Jesus to walk with me”, we need to be willing to walk with Him by keeping His commandments and following His example.
The song’s 2nd and 3rd verse can both be summed up with the simple yet powerful teaching of our Lord in Matthew. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus is ready and willing to to carry our burdens and if we follow Him, He will not only be with us during our trials and sorrows, but He will provide us rest during this time.
We can take comfort to know that when trials come from the world, we have peace through Jesus because He has overcome the world. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
During times of sorrow, Jesus specifically mentioned those who mourn in the beatitudes. “Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4. The song reiterates the scriptural teaching that Jesus is with us during ‘our trials and our sorrows’.
For the song’s last verse, “I love Jesus and He loves me”, is the most powerful statement of the song. Throughout God’s word, we continually read about Jesus’ love for us. We are taught in 1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” We love only because God loved us. We are known as Jesus’ disciples because the love we have for another. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35. Most importantly, we know the depth of love that Jesus has for us led Him to die on our behalf. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
While this song has four simple statements, the power of those words is profound. The depth of Jesus’ love for us and His willingness to be with us through all of life’s journey is extremely impactful to a follower of Christ. When we sing this song, may we always be mindful of how powerful these words truly are.
Thanks for reading