Let’s read Luke 4:16-21, “And he (Jesus) 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 closed 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.”

What is translated as the “acceptable year of the Lord” in the KJV is translated as the “year of the Lord’s favor” in several translations, such as the NIV and the ESV.  What did the Lord mean by that remark?

Along with preaching the ‘acceptable year of the Lord’, the Lord Jesus was also sent to ‘preach the gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance to the captives, recover sight to the blind, and set at liberty them that are bruised.’  All of these things show the heart of God.  Christ was sent to benefit those who could not help themselves.  Indeed, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1 Timothy 1:15).  To preach the ‘acceptable year of the Lord, or the year of the Lord’s favor’, is to announce the time when God is willing to accept sinful men, or to receive sinners coming to him for His saving grace.  (The word ‘grace’ is very similar to the meaning of the word ‘favor’.)  When has or when will that time come?  Let’s read the words of the Lord in Luke 4:21, “THIS DAY is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

The Lord was, of course, referring to the scripture He has just read.  He had read from the book of Esaias (Isaiah), chapter 61:1-2.  The prophesy of that book was now being accomplished in their very presence.  It was if the Lord Jesus was saying, “I am the One anointed with the Holy Ghost.  I am the one who preaches glad tidings to you.  I am the One who gives sight to the blind, the One who frees the captive.  It is in me that this Scripture has its full accomplishment which has been read unto you.  THIS is the acceptable year of the Lord…the year of the Lord’s favor!”  This present age of grace in which we live is the acceptable time.  It is the ‘day of salvation’.  2 Corinthians 6:2 tells us, “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME; BEHOLD, NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION.)”

Before closing this small meditation, we should go back and read Isaiah 61:1-2.  In His quote of this passage, the Lord Jesus left part of it out.  Isaiah 61:1-2 says, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.”  What the Lord did not mention was that He would also proclaim “the day of vengeance of our God.”  The purpose of His FIRST COMING was to announce the “acceptable year of the Lord.”  When He returns, the purpose of His SECOND COMING will be to announce the “day of vengeance of our God.”  That day could happen soon.  It could happen today.  It could happen between the time I write these words and the time you read them.  Have you received the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior?  Have you taken advantage of this “acceptable year” of the Lord?  If not, you will face Him when He returns and you will receive His vengeance.  “NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation.”  (350.4)