Let’s get the whole context for these verses by reading Luke 4:14-21, “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of Him through all the region round about. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. 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. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And He close the book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

In verse 1 we learn that Jesus was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness” to be tempted by Satan for 40 days and then we see in verse 14 that He “returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.” Here was the PERFECT MAN who lived in PERFECT DEPENDENCE upon the Spirit of God. He had now entered into His public ministry where He would canvass the cities of Israel declaring Himself as their predicted Messiah. His fame spread quickly and eventually Jesus “came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up.” He wasted no time in telling those in Nazareth who He really was and it is marvelous to see Him using the scriptures to bring this revelation to them. The attendant in the synagogue gave him a copy of the book of Isaiah and Jesus immediately turned to Isaiah 61:1-2 and read them to all in attendance. Then He closed the book, and as their eyes were riveted upon Him “He began to say unto them, This day is the scripture fulfilled in your ears.” These verses were well-known to all pious Jews; they were fully aware of the fact that they spoke of their coming Messiah. So, Jesus was, in clear and unequivocal terms, telling them that HE WAS THEIR MESSIAH!

Space prevents us from going into detail on these wonderful verses, but in verse 22 we see how the people responded to them. It says, “And all bare witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.” They were no doubt accustomed to hearing the law of Moses in their synagogue, with its stern demands and God’s condemnation to all who would break the law. But now they were hearing precious words of GRACE from this One who claimed to be the Messiah. He came, not to condemn them, but to fully display God’s grace. He came, in the power of the Spirit, “to preach the gospel to the poor,” “to heal the brokenhearted,” “to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind,”  “to set at liberty them that are bruised,” and “to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” In short, He came to meet every need that men had, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It was indeed “the acceptable year of the Lord,” the dawning of a new age where God would bless men by His grace. If you were to look at Isaiah 61:2 you would notice that Jesus only quoted the first half, for He intentionally omitted the words “and the day of the vengeance of our God.” Why did He do this? He did this because those words refer to HIS SECOND COMING when He will execute God’s wrath upon all who refuse His grace. When He returns as King of kings and Lord of lords the DAY OF VENGEANCE will begin, but the purpose of HIS FIRST COMING was to usher in the DAY OF GRACE, which is called “the acceptable year of the Lord.”

I would encourage you to read verses 23-30. Though the people’s initial reaction to the Lord’s words was good, they soon realized that His grace extended to Gentiles as well. With pride and enmity in their hearts they tried to kill the Lord Jesus, thus they rejected their Messiah and the grace God was offering them through His Son.  (182.10)  (DO)