Hudson Taylor (image right) is a well-known pioneer missionary to China and head of the China Inland Mission, now Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF). What isn’t well-known is his regular gesture toward Jewish evangelism.1
In 1897 Hudson Taylor began making regular donations to the Mildmay Mission to the Jews. The founder of this mission, John Wilkinson, returned the favor in the exact amount. However, it’s the details of the account that are what is special in this story:
Taking advantage of a New Year’s Day spent at home (1897), Mr. Taylor went round to Mr. Wilkinson’s house with a brotherly note enclosing a gift for the Mission. “To the Jew first,” were the words with which the cheque was accompanied. Mr. Wilkinson’s warm heart was touched, and he immediately wrote a brotherly reply, enclosing his own cheque for the same amount, with the words: “And also to the Gentile.” This helpful interchange of sympathy was kept up ever after, the only change being that each doubled the amount of their contribution.2
Whatever one’s opinion on the “missional priority” of the Jewish people, this story is a reminder that Romans 1:16 was not forgotten by this committed missionary to the Gentiles.
1 Richard Harvey, author of Mapping Messianic Jewish Theology: A Constructive Approach and author of the blog “On This Day in Messianic Jewish History,” mentioned this story in the most recent bulletin (n. 122) of the Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism.