Pajamas for Jesus?!?

"I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
- 1 Corinthians 9:22

Hudson Taylor knew that he was called to go China. He had heard the call of God very clearly to become a missionary to this foreign and dangerous land. 

During this time in the 1800's Hudson Taylor found himself preparing to become a doctor, and was involved in in-depth medical training. But when he heard the Lord speak to his heart to become a missionary to the foreign lands of China, he could not resist!

From that moment on Hudson Taylor began to train himself, and even discipline his body for the rigors of life he knew he'd face in remote China. 

For example, Hudson knew that the temperatures of China were vastly different from those of England, and so he began to sleep with his windows open at night time, in order to prepare his body for the cold frigid temperatures there. 

Hudson also knew that his financial income would be drastically different, so he also began to train himself by living on as little money as possible and giving the rest away to the poor throughout the city.

He pressed into the Word of God, grew as a young man in Christ, and then finally came the day when he set sail for the exotic and distant land of China. 

As he slept, it seemed that nothing else could feel his mind but the millions and millions of faces of Chinese people he had heard about, who had never even heard the name of Christ. 

Upon arrival in China, Hudson Taylor noticed something very peculiar about the British missionaries that traveled to that land: they all dressed like British, spoke like the British, and acted like the British people that they were. 

It was then perhaps, no wonder the Chinese people themselves thought the British missionaries a very strange bunch indeed. Walking around in three piece suits, curved top hats, and walking canes, the British missionaries looked very bizarre indeed to the local Chinese peasants, struggling just to survive. 

Over the course of months Hudson Taylor saw the Chinese people wore, what he would consider, silk pajamas as their everyday clothing. This is simply the regular Chinese dress of the day, but to Hudson Taylor it appeared as the equivalent of pajamas. 

Hudson Taylor began to ask himself: "I wonder how they would respond to me if I dressed just as they didI wonder if the changing of my outward clothing, might change their response to my message?"

So it was, that Hudson Taylor began a practice that was to revolutionize the age of missions in foreign lands: he dressed exactly like the native people! Hudson Taylor wore pajamas for Christ, so that Christ might be received by the Chinese people.

The results of this daring move became the birth of the "China Inland Mission", and the spreading of the Gospel was so enormous and effective, that we are still seeing the harvest of souls in China today! 
All of this stems from the work of the China Inland Mission, under the leadership of the great Hudson Taylor, who dared to wear pajamas for Christ!

Paul the Apostle echoed the same type of evangelistic strategy in 1 Corinthians 9:22 when he said:

"I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."

Though Paul the Apostle never compromised his message, he constantly changed his method . Though Paul never changed the substance of his teaching, he constantly modified the style of his presentation! In order to more effectively reach the people he was speaking to of Christ, Paul sought to find common ground and build a bridge of communication.

Didn't Jesus do essentially the same thing when He, the eternal Son of God, took on human flesh to walk among us? In doing this didn't Jesus himself find common ground with us by becoming Man that we could hear, see, and even touch? 

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men." - Philippians 2:5-7
It seems that Paul the Apostle and Hudson Taylor were only copying their great Master, and His perfect form of reaching the lost with the Gospel!

Today, as you go out into your mission field, what can you do to find more common ground with those to whom Christ has sent you? 

Without compromising the truth of the gospel, or altering your message, what can you do to make people more receptive to what you have to say about Jesus Christ and His great love for them?

I encourage you to pray and to ask the Lord to show you what the "pajamas" are that you should wear in order to reach more people for Christ. 

Be willing to humble yourself, and change your approach or style... And the Lord might just use you in an explosive manner just like Hudson Taylor in China!

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Jason Dennett

Jason Dennett is the teaching pastor at Calvary Chapel Puerto Rico. You can listen to Pastor Jason on "Comfort Ye My People" radio program Mon - Fri @ 4:00pm on WBMJ am 1190 San Juan // WIVV am 1370 Vieques // WCGB am 1060 Juana Diaz and Ponce