first day of the week

Acts 20:7

20:7 first day of the week. This is the first mention of the disciples meeting on the first day of the week, but this seems to have soon become a regular practice (see I Corinthians 16:2). For a considerable time, as long as he was welcome, Paul (presumably the others also) continued to meet and preach in the synagogues on the Sabbath day. However, as Jewish opposition became more virulent, this soon became impracticable. The last reference to this practice of meeting each sabbath day with the Jews in the synagogue is in reference to Ephesus (Act 19:8). Paul was finally forced to move this synagogue next door to the school of Tyrannus (an odd name for a schoolmaster, unless it was a nickname given him by his students), where he preached every day. It seems likely that, during the period while the Jews and Christians would meet together each Sabbath day, the Christians would then want to meet by themselves the next day for fellowship and study (although there is no specific reference teaching this). However, this would normally be a workday, so they would probably have to wait until early evening to do so. This practice of meeting on the evening of the first day with the other disciples presumably then continued after they could no longer worship in the synagogue. This would also explain why Paul was preaching at Troas until midnight and why Eutychus fell asleep (Acts 20:9). The first day of the week then eventually became known as “the Lord’s day” (Revelation 1:10). By worshiping and resting on that day, the Christians were still keeping the sabbath (“sabbath” means “rest,” not “seventh” or “Saturday”) and also honoring the Lord Jesus, who rose from the dead on the first day of the week. He is both Creator and Redeemer, and now that He has completed both great works (Genesis 2:1-3; John 19:30), it is appropriate that we remember both together this way.

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