Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

Well for me that I have Jesus,
O how strong I hold to him
that he might refresh my heart,
when sick and sad am I.
Jesus have I, who loves me
and gives to me his own,
ah, therefore I will not leave Jesus,
when I feel my heart is breaking.

Jesus remains my joy,
my heart’s comfort and essence,
Jesus resists all suffering,
He is my life’s strength,
my eye’s desire and sun,
my soul’s love and joy;
so will I not leave Jesus
out of heart and face.

– Martin Jahn

I love Bach.  Not to bash Mozart’s meticulous and extravagantly complex sonatas or Beethoven’s impassioned Romantic-Classical style, but Bach’s music is incredibly beautiful in its simplicity.

There is an inner depth to this piece that I enjoy immensely as a pianist.  It seems like an easy melody, but almost every note is harmonized, and if you listen closely you can hear the counterpoint – two different tunes played at once, both significant for the overall piece.

I think Bach really captured both the humbleness and joy of Jesus within the cheerfulness of this melody as well as His strength, power, and protection.  It’s not surprising that such music would come from this man – he didn’t play for royalty like Mozart, he didn’t make music for fame or fortune.  Instead he worked as a church musician in a few small German towns for the majority of his life.

“Music’s only purpose should be the glory of God and the recreation of the human spirit.” – Johann Sebastian Bach


5 thoughts on “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

    • Yes, we do! 🙂 Another fun fact about Bach – the surviving sheet music we have that were written in his hand, he marked each of them at the top of the first page with “J.J.” and the bottom of the last page with “S.D.G.” These are abbreviations for the Latin phrases “Jesu Jevu” (“Jesus help me!”) and “Soli Deo Gloria” (“For the glory of God alone”). This man breathed his faith into his music. It’s sad that some of the people in the first few churches he played for thought his pleasing and catchy music was “sinful” as if it took attention away from God to the composer, because I don’t feel that at all. It gives the exact impression its title states – the joy people have for Jesus.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Colorstorm –

      Everything’s fine with me. I’ve been busy learning the piece in this post for a Christmas party at a church (and practicing in general), and I haven’t gotten much inspiration recently. I was planning on writing a post about the virtue of chastity, but again, my piano has consumed a lot of my time.

      Hope all is well with you, though!


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