I was listening to a playlist on Spotify and came across a very familiar melody. Growing up in a church setting I was used to hearing my dad , the Korean speaking congregation sing this melody. Although I’ve flipped through the hymnals and read the words it never stuck as much as “How Great Thou Art”, “It is Well”, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine,” or “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” etc..
My morning was filled with news of disappointments from the world, struggles and entanglements of sin, brokenness and failures of our physical body. Oh how sweet it would be, to be with Jesus. No more sorrows, disappointments, pain, or struggles…..
As I kept repeating the song, I began to recall the words in Korean…
주 예수보다 더 귀한 것은 없네 이 세상 부귀와 바꿀 수 없네 →I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
But a closer translation of the Korean version is:
There is nothing more precious in this world than Jesus. It cannot exchanged for any wealth in this world.
Usually I appreciate the original version of the hymns but “I’d Rather Have Jesus” in Korean has this richness in the words that were selected.
Here is the English/original version of “I’d Rather Have Jesus”
I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands,
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand.
Than to be a king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway,
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than world-wide fame,
I’d rather be true to His holy name.
He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out of the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs,
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead.
주 예수보다 더 귀한 것은 없네 이 세상 부귀 와 바꿀 수 없네-There is nothing more precious in this world than Jesus. It cannot exchanged for any wealth in this world.
영 죽은 내 대신 돌아가신 그 놀라운 사랑 잊지 못해-I can never forget the amazing love of the spirit of one who died for me
세상 즐거움 다 버리고 세상 자랑 다 버렸네-I’d throw away the pleasures and boasts of this world.
주 예수보다 더 귀한 것은 없네 예수 밖에는 없네-There is nothing more precious than Jesus. Nothing like Jesus.
주 예수보다 더 귀한 것은 없네 이 세상 명예와 바꿀 수 없네-There is nothing more precious than Jesus. It cannot be exchanged for honor this world has to offer
이 전에 즐기던 세상 일도 주 사랑하는 맘 뺏지 못해-Even the previous pleasures of this world cannot take my love for Jesus away.
주 예수보다 더 귀한 것은 없네 이 세상 행복과 바꿀 수 없네-There is nothing more precious than Jesus. It cannot be exchanged for happiness this world has to offer.
유혹과 핍박이 몰려 와도 주 섬기는 내 맘 변치 않아-Though temptations and persecution may come flocking my way my loyalty for Jesus will never change
Here is the composer George Beverly Shea sharing his testimony behind this song and singing it.
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ
– Paul in his letter to the church in Philippi (Philippians 3:8)