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The Fourth Commandment:
Honoring the Day of HaShem as a Non-Jew

Part 3 of 4: Jesus and His Disciples Were Shomer Shabbat

By Shlomo Phillips © August 31.2009 (last update: April 10, 2015)

Go to: Study Home Page.
Go to: Study Overview.
Go to: Part One: How and Why Shabbat Was Given.
Go to: Part Two: Shabbat For All
Go to: Part Four: How and Why the Sabbath Day Was Rejected.
"The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" -- Mark 2:27.

This teaching of Jesus (Y'shua) particularly caught the attention of the first century rabbis and remains controversial today. It is one his most debated and misunderstood reform teachings. According to the New Testament Y'shua was shomer Shabbat (i.e. he observed or guarded the Sabbath laws properly according to Jewish tradition). He wanted these observances to be done from the heart in meaningful ways, and not as empty ritualized observances. In this way he felt that Shabbat observance would more completely bless, humble and empower the people as originally intended by HaShem. This was not a new teaching. Doing Torah 'for its own sake' with emuna (i.e. active faith) and kavanah (i.e. clear intention) is a well established teaching of the rabbis then as now. Many rabbis stress this point in their teachings. This was nothing new.

Shabbat was given to humanity with this goal in mind. We are not supposed to mindlessly observe rituals; we are to draw ever closer to HaShem and His people through them. With doubtless good intentions Y'shua sought to promote this Way among his Jewish followers with his reforms.

We know from the New Testament books that Y'shua did not seek to start a new religion, and certainly not one that opposes Torah (Matthew 5:18)! He was a devout Torah observant Jew who believed certain reforms were needed in our holy religion. In the Hillel-Shammai debates of the early 1st century BCE Y'shua would have sided with Hillel (as did the majority of rabbinic opinion then and now). Hillel encouraged tolerance and an easing of the strict rules to make Torah observance more meaningful and available for the people. Rabbi Shammai favored enforcing the Laws of Torah very strictly believing this would lead to more pious worship and observance. We might say that Shammai was a behaviorist while Hillel was more of a transpersonal

Most of Y'shua's reforms can be traced to Rabbi Hillel's directly or indirectly. For instance, Hillel said: 'That which you find repugnant to yourself do not do to others'. Y'shua taught, 'Do unto others and you would like them do unto you'. He gathered a band of Jewish disciples and taught them these same types of reforms. There was nothing anti-rabbinic about the majority of his teachings as they appear in the Gospels. The problem is mainly with the Christian interpretations.

While Y'shua isn't credited of course, and was not the only one encouraging such reforms, most of the reforms he suggested have long since been embraced by segments of Judaism. I would say that the Conservative movement of Judaism today would be essentially his ideal brought to fruition, with an injection of Hassidus (inner spirituality and deep prayer). He would probably be at odds with the Haredim today, as he was with some of his fellow Pharisees during his lifetime. He was an observant mystic who demanded spiritual freedom.

Matthew 15:24 But he [Y'shua] answered and said, I am only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As we seek to understand the teachings of Y'shua (Jesus) regarding Shabbat and other topics we must always bear in mind that he is speaking and teaching from within a traditional Jewish first century CE paradigm. For such people there was nothing more important nor sacred than Shabbat! Had Y'shua rejected Shabbat (an inconceivable notion for a first century Pharisee) the Rabbinic and popular condemnation would have been loud and clear. Such a position would have been recorded in the New Testament as the reason for his rejection, assuming the disciples would have even stayed with him to begin with. Such a stand would have been to deny the very symbol of the Covenant (Exodus 31:13). His suggested reforms were questioned and debated, but his devotion to Shabbat and Torah never were.

Had Y'shua renounced Shabbat observance (as the Church mainly does), he would certainly have taken the time to explain to his disciples why he was overturning their most sacred observance and what they should do now. He did not do this. He continued to observe Shabbat. He never authorized Sunday as a holy day nor did he reject Shabbat. That came much later.

In a few passages Y'shua is questioned about certain aspects of his Shabbat teachings, but never his support for its continued observance. These sorts of debates continue today (i.e. can one ride a bike on Shabbat, can one carry a gun in the IDF on Shabbat and so on). He addressed such questions of his day. He sought to promote the real intention of being Shomer Shabbat (Sabbath observant). WHY are we doing these things and how can we do them with greater understanding and meaning? This was his desire for his followers.

Biblical religion is quite structured. While individuals are important, it is with groups of people that HaShem most often works. We each have our proper relationship with HaShem and these are often determined by blocks or segments of the various societies. As Paul explained, not everyone is a "hand" or a "foot" in the collective body. Rather, we are many members, each with different tasks to perform (I Corinthians 12:15). There are differences between individuals and there are differences between groups. There are also differences among the people of the Sinai Covenant (the Jews) and those of the Ararat Covenant. Both groups have their proper roles to play and both are to honor Shabbat according to the terms of their Covenant relationships. This is one reason Jews have traditionally been anti-missionary. One size does not fit all.

While Y'shua almost never spoke with non-Jews personally, he sought to empower his disciples to reach out to them. Concerning his fellow Jews, Y'shua is quoted as saying:

Matthew 5:14 You [Jews] are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Sometimes the nations have made this relationship impossible through antisemitism, fear and prejudice. Gentiles destroyed our Holy City and Temple on the Hill twice. They forbade Jews from returning to the Holy City. Following the destruction of the second Temple in 70 CE the people of Torah were dispersed throughout the world. They were abused, defamed and murdered (Isaiah 53:5). But in 1948 HaShem called them back Home and in 1967 He restored Holy Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to His people (although the Mount remains under Jordanian authority is in Israeli property). This was a modern miracle! The restitution is not yet complete of course. We await the coming of our anointed King, may it be soon and in our days! THEN will begin the eternal Shabbat.

Once the Kingdom is established there will be peace between all people and the proper relationship between Israel and the nations will exist. Then, under the reign of HaMashiach ben David, all will flourish. Once the Messianic Kingdom is established every inch of Eretz Israel will be restored to Israel and the Noahide nations will voluntarily look to Jerusalem for guidance:

Zechariah 8:20 So said the Lord of Hosts: [There will] yet [be a time] that peoples and the inhabitants of many cities shall come.
8:21 And the inhabitants of one shall go to another, saying, "Let us go to pray before the Lord and to entreat the Lord of Hosts. I, too, will go."
8:22 And many peoples and powerful nations shall come to entreat the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.
8:23 So said the Lord of Hosts: In those days, when ten men of all the languages of the nations shall take hold of the skirt of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."
Then the Noahidim, with Jews as their priests, will work together in harmony with the Will of HaShem for the good of all creation. When that day comes the prophet says:
Isaiah 56:6 And the foreigners who join with the Lord to serve Him and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, everyone who observes the Sabbath from profaning it and who holds fast to My covenant.
7 I will bring them to My holy mount, and I will cause them to rejoice in My house of prayer, their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon My altar, for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
To all who love the Name of HaShem and to everyone who is shomer Shabbat and who do not profane the sacred Day of Remembrance, the blessings of HaShem will then pour forth beyond our wildest hopes. Observing Shabbat as directed by HaShem is one the keys. Rambam and other sages list proper Shabbat observance as the chief method of bringing in the Messianic age.

Shabbat matters and it mattered to Y'shua!

In the Olam Haba the Messiah will be ruling as the literal King of Israel. In that day the people of both Covenants (i.e. Jews and Noahidim) will keep and guard Shabbat and they will all honor the Sacred Name. Those who truly long for that day are wise to embrace these things even now!

There are specific biblical and rabbinic requirements and regulations governing proper Jewish and Noahide Sabbath observance. Some of these rabbinic rulings and traditions were points Jesus was challenging and such debates continue. Most non-Orthodox Jews today do not observe several of the Orthodox requirements enumerated in the Shulchan Aruch as required halacha (Jewish law). For instance many drive and use electricity on Shabbat, things the Orthodox do not allow. What it means to be shomer Shabbat then is still being debated. Who has the authority to decide what is required and what is personal preference or piety? Once Messiah comes such debates will end. Until then... Don't let the perfect defeat the good!

The focus in the Tanach is the People of Israel (i.e. the Jews) and their service to HaShem as a nation of priests. Jews are commanded to keep themselves apart from the world (kodesh) and its impious ways and yet to mingle with the world in order to bless them. Balance is critical in this. Jews are not to be too extreme either way. Despite this mandatory self-separation, Jews are also commanded to bless the whole world (Genesis 12:3) and to be actively engaged in it. This is Israel's divine mandate. How should this be done? Again, Jews disagree. It is however through such service of blessing the world that Messiah will eventually come when HaShem wills it to happen. Until then, through the sufferings and blessings of the Jewish people the Gentiles are also finding HaShem and receiving His blessings "without seeking Him" (Isaiah 65:1).

But the Christians must nor forget nor downplay what Y'shua told the Samaritan woman:

John 4:22 You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Because of the Covenant "salvation is of the Jews" and Yom Shabbat is the sign of the Covenant that makes this so. Throughout the Tanach we read of Gentiles attaching themselves to the Jewish people and to HaShem. Such people are accepted as Noahidim. Some of them eventually convert to Judaism and some of them do not. In the New Testament the non-Jews who embraced the original 'Way sect' of Y'shua and his followers were given the opportunity to be "grafted onto the Tree of Israel" (Romans 11). In other words, as ger tzadikim they could be "adopted" into the Jewish family (Romans 8:15) through formal conversion. Such people become ben Avraham or bat Sarah (i.e. adopted sons or daughters of our patriarchs Avraham and Sarah). Many of those who came to the disciples did just that if appears from the texts. Others remained Noahidim. This was nothing new. Ger tzadikim have always come to unite with our people.

The difficultly for the Jewish disciples of the first century CE was that the Rabbinic hierarchy did not accept their movement nor their belief in Jesus as the Messiah (since he did not fulfill the requirements and sought to bypass their authority). In order to convert a Noahide must go through a recognized beit din or religious court consisting of three qualified rabbis. Since the 1st century Jewish establishment refused to accept the Way converts the Way followers decided to establish their own beit din (under the leadership of James). As with those who convert through a non-Orthodox beit din today, the orthodox rabbis of the 1st century refused to recognize these conversions. As a result the Way community began drifting ever farther away from mainline Judaism and by the third century CE they had completely abandoned Torah and Yom Shabbat.

For those who chose not to formally convert for whatever reason, James and his peers established a sister movement that would exist alongside their Jewish sect as was traditional within Judaism (although this sister Noahide group would be far more prom in ant than the Ger tzadikim had ever been within traditional Jewish society). As time passed the two groups became indistinguishable and formal conversion to Judaism, even through them, eventually ceased. Declaring faith in Y'shua (not in Torah, not in HaShem) was all that was required. The Way became a short-lived Noahide sect. The Way Noahide movement was established at Acts 17:30.

Soon the Way Noahide sect came to known (and condemned) as the Nicolaitan heresy of "those who claim to be Jews but are not" (Revelation 2:9, 3:9). Once this group finalized its authority over the Way sect Shabbat and Torah observance was discontinued and, in the third century, formally outlawed by Emperor Constantine. Shabbat was replaced with the Sunday observances of the Roman sun god Sol Invictus (the god worshipped by Constantine). Torah was replaced by Papal rulings and Vatican approved edited versions of the New Testament. The Jewish Way sect begun by Y'shua disciples ceased to exist.

While Genesis 2:3 states the universal holiness and applicability of Shabbat, Jews are strictly required to observe it under Sinai Covenant with all of its halachic specifics. What of the Gentiles who sojourned with the Jews during the Exodus? Did they observe Shabbat?

Yes they did! And such fortunate Gentiles are even included in the Fourth Commandment itself:

Exodus 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it.
20:9 Six days may you work and perform all your labor,
20:10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord, your God; you shall perform no labor, neither you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, your beast, nor your stranger who is in your cities.
These 'strangers' (i.e. ger or people of the other nations) were the Gentiles who lived with the Israelites during the Exodus trek. Some were Egyptians who chose to side with Moshe and others joined them during the journey. During this period the Noahidim were specifically required to learn, observe, and remember Shabbat just like the Jews. From this we can see that when a non-Jew seeks to establish a relationship with HaShem he/she is also required to learn about and honor Shabbat properly. The rabbis of each generation hold authority over people and their rulings on proper observant are the ones to observe. For this reason quoting 'proof texts' that the ger are to observe Shabbat like the Jews holds no standing.

Y'shua and his disciples called everyone to Torah observance, the only biblically authorized religion. Those who heeded this call, whether as Noahides or Jews, were told to "observe all things whatsoever I have commanded." This included Shabbat. Why then did Y'shua's sect begin renouncing Shabbat within century of his execution?

Acts 17:1 After passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, Sha'ul [Paul] and Sila [Silas] came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue.
17:2 According to his usual practice, Sha'ul went in; and on three Shabbats he gave them drashes [lessons] from the Tanach,
17:3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and that "this Yeshua whom I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah."
Paul (like the other talmidim or students) continued observing Shabbat after embracing the Way reforms. Shabbat was never rejected by Y'shua nor by his students. It was the second and third generations that abandoned Torah and Judaism.
Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
This command was never revoked anywhere in the 66 books of Bible (i.e. in neither the Hebrew Tanach nor the Christian New Testament).
Exodus 20:10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord, your God; you shall perform no labor, neither you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, your beast, nor your stranger who is in your cities.
20:11 For [in] six days the Lord made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it.
Exodus 31:14 Therefore, keep the Sabbath, for it is a sacred thing for you. Those who desecrate it shall be put to death, for whoever performs work on it, that soul will be cut off from the midst of its people.
31:15 Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever performs work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death.'
31:16 Thus shall the children of Israel observe the Sabbath, to make the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant.
Exodus 35:2 Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have sanctity, a day of complete rest to the Lord; whoever performs work thereon [on this day] shall be put to death
Leviticus 16:31 It is a Sabbath of rest for you, and you shall afflict yourselves. It is an eternal statute.
The command to observe and remember Shabbat is applicable "forever," "throughout your generations" etc. As a Jew and a Pharisee Y'shua and his disciples observed Shabbat.
Leviticus 23:3 [For] six days, work may be performed, but on the seventh day, it is a complete rest day, a holy occasion; you shall not perform any work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.
Leviticus 23:16 You shall count until the day after the seventh week, [namely,] the fiftieth day, [on which] you shall bring a new meal offering to the Lord.
Shabbat was the standard used for biblical time reckoning. It is the holiest and most important of all days. It is the biblical cornerstone and the foundation of the calendar HaShem gave the world.
Leviticus 24:8 Each and every Sabbath day, he shall set it up before the Lord [to be there] continuously, from the children of Israel an eternal covenant.
Deuteronomy 5:12 Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord your God commanded you.
Deuteronomy 5:14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall perform no labor, neither you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, your ox, your donkey, any of your livestock, nor the stranger who is within your cities, in order that your manservant and your maidservant may rest like you.
5:15 And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord your God took you out from there with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm; therefore, the Lord, your God, commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
I Chronicles 9:32 And some of the sons of the Kehathites, of their brethren, were in charge of the showbread to prepare every Sabbath.
Nehemiah 9:14 And Your holy Sabbath You made known to them, and commandments and statutes and the Law You commanded them, by the hand of Your servant Moses.
Nehemiah 13:15 In those days, I saw in Judea [people] treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing stacks [of grain] and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, and figs, and all types of loads and bringing them to Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, and I warned them on the day they sold provisions.
16 And the Tyrians [who] sojourned there were bringing fish and all [types of] merchandise and selling on the Sabbath to the people of Judea and in Jerusalem.
17 And I quarreled with the dignitaries of Judea, and I said to them, "What is this bad thing that you are doing-profaning the Sabbath day?
18 Did not your ancestors do this, and our God brought upon us all this calamity, and upon this city, and you are increasing the wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath?"
19 Now it came to pass when the gates of Jerusalem cast shadows before the Sabbath, that I commanded, and the doors were closed, and I said that they should not open them until after the Sabbath, and I stationed some of my youths over the gates so that no load should enter on the Sabbath day.
20 So the traffickers and the vendors of all types of merchandise lodged outside Jerusalem once and twice.
21 And I warned them and said to them, "Why are you lodging opposite the wall? If you repeat [this], I shall lay a hand on you." Since that time, they did not come on the Sabbath.
22 And I commanded the Levites that the watchers of the walls should purify themselves and come to hallow the Sabbath day. This too remember for me, my God, and have pity on me according to Your abundant loving-kindness.
Isaiah 56:1 So says the Lord, "Keep justice and practice righteousness, for My salvation is near to come, and My benevolence to be revealed."
56:2 Fortunate is the man who will do this and the person who will hold fast to it, he who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it and guards his hand from doing any evil.
56:3 Now let not the foreigner who joined the Lord, say, "The Lord will surely separate me from His people," and let not the eunuch say, "Behold, I am a dry tree."
56:4 For so says the Lord to the eunuchs who will keep My Sabbaths and will choose what I desire and hold fast to My covenant,
56:5 "I will give them in My house and in My walls a place and a name, better than sons and daughters; an everlasting name I will give him, which will not be discontinued.
56:6 And the foreigners who join with the Lord to serve Him and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, everyone who observes the Sabbath from profaning it and who holds fast to My covenant.
56:7 I will bring them to My holy mount, and I will cause them to rejoice in My house of prayer, their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon My altar, for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
Note here that God's House will be called a place for prayer for all who honor His Shabbat! Conversely those who refuse to honor Shabbat clearly reject the Covenant its observance represents! How can such rejectors of Torah hope to find a place within the rebuilt Temple when they reject the holiness of Shabbat?
Isaiah 66:23 And it shall be from new moon to new moon and from Sabbath to Sabbath, that all flesh shall come to prostrate themselves before Me," says the Lord.
Rosh Chodesh (New Moon Day) is invested in Torah study. Shabbat is invested in Torah celebration with family and friends.
Jeremiah 17:21 So said the Lord: Beware for your souls and carry no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring into the gates of Jerusalem.
17:22 Neither shall you take a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day nor shall you perform any labor, and you shall hallow the Sabbath day as I commanded your forefathers.
17:23 But they did not hearken, neither did they bend their ear[s], and they hardened their nape not to hearken and not to receive instruction.
17:24And it shall be if you hearken to Me, says the Lord, not to bring any burden into the gates of this city on the Sabbath day and to hallow the Sabbath day not to perform any labor thereon,
Many say that this rule against carrying on Shabbat is one of the most important of all.
Amos 8:5 And it shall be if you hearken to Me, says the Lord, not to bring any burden into the gates of this city on the Sabbath day and to hallow the Sabbath day not to perform any labor thereon,
These things are forbidden on Rosh Chodesh and Shabbat.
Matthew 12:11 And He [Y'shua] said to them, What man among you will be, who will have one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the sabbaths, will he not lay hold on it and lift it out?
12:12 How much better is a man then than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
According to the New Testament, Y'shua sought to clarify the intention and so reformed the Shabbat rules, making them what he believed HaShem had originally intended. To him the legalism of Rabbinic Traditions had been ordered because of the miseries of Babylonian bondage. Now that they had returned to Eretz Israel they needed to resume their previous ways of active service. Based on this conviction he was calling for his people to soften their hearts and return to active emuna in HaShem as he understood this. Certainly we are all commanded to love and serve HaShem as a matter of free will, not by rote obedience to ancient rules. Y'shua's reforms called his followers to spiritual maturity from his perspective. The purpose of Shabbat he said was to focus on HaShem in love, not to make our food spoil, our children to freeze and so on.

Y'shua and his talmidim continued to observe Shabbat, but as they believed HaShem had originally intended. Rabbinic critics of his reforms aside, they never abandoned Shabbat.

Matthew 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day
This is part of a longer prophecy that we need not consider here. What is obvious however is that Y'shua expected his future followers would still be observing Shabbat in the End Times. Had he intended to end the ancient observance this statement would have been meaningless.
Matthew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
Visiting the dead is forbidden on Shabbat and so the women waited until it was over to visit the tomb of Jesus. Obviously they were still observing Shabbat.
Mark 1:21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
Mark 2:24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
2:27 And he [Y'shua] said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
Y'shua did not say 'Shabbat is no longer in effect for my talmidim,' he said 'you misunderstand its correct application. Must they go hungry on Shabbat?'
Mark 3:2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
3:4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
This was a cornerstone of his Shabbat reforms. The rabbinic restrictions prevented the doing of certain good deeds on Shabbat and that was, in his opinion, an abuse of the original intention. Shabbat was given to bless mankind, not to cause us grief. This passage by the demonstrates the tampering done by the Church scribes on these texts. Judaism permits violating the Sabbath to save a life. The question would not have been asked.
Mark 6:2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue...
Mark 15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath...
Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read...
Luke 4:31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.
Luke 13:10 Yeshua was teaching in one of the synagogues on Shabbat.
13:11 A woman came up who had a spirit which had crippled her for eighteen years; she was bent double and unable to stand erect at all.
13:12 On seeing her, Yeshua called her and said to her, "Lady, you have been set free from your weakness!"
13:13 He put his hands on her, and at once she stood upright and began to glorify God.
13:14 But the president of the synagogue, indignant that Yeshua had healed on Shabbat, spoke up and said to the congregation, "There are six days in the week for working; so come during those days to be healed, not on Shabbat!"
13:15 However, the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Each one of you on Shabbat -- don't you unloose your ox or your donkey from the stall and lead him off to drink?
13:16 This woman is a daughter of Avraham, and the Adversary kept her tied up for eighteen years! Shouldn't she be freed from this bondage on Shabbat?"
13:17 By these words, Yeshua put to shame the people who opposed him; but the rest of the crowd were happy about all the wonderful things that were taking place through him.
Acts 13:14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
After Jesus' execution by the Romans the talmidim continued attending Shabbat services and observing the various laws. The claim that the Church chose to worship on Sunday in honor of the day of his resurrection has no biblical support whatsoever. Shabbat observance did not end with his death nor did the disciples begin meeting for worship on Sundays. They maintained Shabbat observance.
Acts 13:43 When the synagogue meeting broke up, many of the born Jews and devout proselytes -- [note that those who initially received the teachings of Jesus and his talmidim were "proselytes" or converts to Judaism. In other words, they formally converted to Judaism in order to enter his movement when that was still possible] -- followed Sha'ul and Bar-Nabba, who spoke with them and urged them to keep holding fast to the love and kindness of God.
13:44 The next Shabbat, nearly the whole city gathered together to hear the message about the Lord;
13:45 but when the Jews who had not believed saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and spoke up against what Sha'ul was saying and insulted him.
13:46 However, Sha'ul and Bar-Nabba answered boldly: "It was necessary that God's word be spoken first to you. But since you are rejecting it and are judging yourselves unworthy of eternal life - why, we're turning to the Goyim!
Since the scholars and sages of Israel did not accept their teachings, according to this, the disciples of the disciples eventually abandoned the Jewish community and began teaching the reforms to the Gentiles as discussed above. Many of these people converted to Judaism during the early years as discussed but in later years the sect as a whole abandoned Torah and ceased doing conversions.
Acts 16:13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.
Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures...
Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
These should suffice to make the point:

"The Israelite people shall keep the Sabbath,
observing the Sabbath throughout the ages as a covenant for all time:
It shall be a sign for all time between Me and the people of Israel"
(Exodus 31:16-17).

The message of the Jewish Way sect gradually became more and more divergent from Torah and the religion of Israel. Paul and the others decided to take their sect to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46). When this happened people without any foundation in Torah rose into leadership positions within the movement and soon, a community here and a community there, gradually exchanged the Jewish Way movement of Y'shua for one inspired by local beliefs and the Romans hierarchy. This lead the sect into a period of doctrinal confusion that eventually lead to the Roman usurpation of the movement and the establishment a wholly different religion. There will be more on this as we continue with part four: How and Why the Sabbath Day Was Rejected.

Continue to Part Four, the conclusion.

For more information on Shabbat read the complete study using these links:

Go to: Part Four: How and Why the Sabbath Day Was Rejected.
Go to: Study Overview.
Go to: Study Home Page.

Be the Blessing you were created to be
Don't let the perfect defeat the good