The answer to the question presented may at first seem obvious. However, upon closer scrutiny, a problem becomes apparent. There is a difference between how Jesus worshipped God and how the modern Christian church worships God. These differences in practice should cause the contemporary church to examine its methods and beliefs. If Christianity centers it faith and practice upon the teachings of Jesus Christ, should it not resemble its leader? Moreover, a consideration of the religion of the Jewish carpenter from Nazareth confronts us with a most unsettling question: Is Jesus Christ the founder of Christianity? If He isn’t, then who is? In an effort to direct the inquirer, this paper addresses five differences between the religious practices of Jesus of Nazareth and the modern church. The reader should be prepared to examine his “Christianity” in light of the principles and practices of the Jewish rabbi called Jesus.
The first difference is that while the contemporary church worships God on Sunday, Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. Luke 4:16 says: And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the Sabbath day. And he stood up to read…. (Emphasis supplied) (RSV) In fact, many if not most of the miracles performed by Jesus were done on the Sabbath. In comparison, the modern day church believes that the day of worship was changed from the Sabbath to Sunday. One online Christian resource explains:
Still others Christians would say that we no longer observe the Jewish sabbath, but worship instead on Sunday, a distinctively Christian holy day. They argue that the early church very soon began meeting on Sunday in honor of the resurrection of Jesus, which took place on the first day of the week.
It is not the purpose of this work to explore the reason for the change or the timing of the change as there are many resources available for those who seek to know the historical truth. It is sufficient to state that according to Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, the day of worship began to change around A.D. 115. The point is that Jesus did not worship on the first day of the week; He worshipped God on the Sabbath.
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