The Acceptable Year of the Lord
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn . . .” Isaiah 61:1-2 NKJV
Isaiah’s prophesy above outlined two comings of the Messiah, Jesus the Christ: His first coming as a preacher of the Gospel of His kingdom and His second coming as a vengeful judge. The first advent of Christ is about the “good news” of salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8) and the second is about the bad news of judgment (See Rev. 14:14-20; 19:11-16).
Jesus, prior to commencing His public ministry, in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, He was baptized in water and filled with the Holy Ghost (Matt. 3:13-17), and He was tested, tempted and tried by Satan in the Wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11). But most of all, He was anointed by His Heavenly Father (Acts 10:38); As a result, Jesus returned into Galilee in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14) with a ministry and message of good news: “the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15).
His message was a “good news” gospel proclaiming the “acceptable year of the Lord.” In the “acceptable year of the Lord” glad tiding are preached to the meek (See Matt. 5:3 translated “poor”), broken hearts are healed, liberty is proclaimed to captives, the blind—literally and spiritually—recover their sight, prisons are opened to those who are bound, spiritually. Jesus Himself is the fulfillment of the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:14-21).
The acceptable year of the Lord is here and now; it proclaims a time of God’s favor to those who repent and believe (John 1:16; Isa. 49: 8; 2 Cor. 6:2). The acceptable is grace and favor, favor and grace. All other circumstances, conditions, situations, sickness, disease, bondage, etc. in life are unacceptable!
When Jesus stood up to read from the book of Isaiah in the synagogue, He purposefully did not read the second sentence in Isaiah 61:2: “And the day of vengeance of our God” because in His first coming, He came to announce the “good news of God’s salvation by grace, but in His second coming—beware! He’s coming again but with vengeance to conquer and judge every foe and those who obey not the gospel (2 Thess. 1:7-8). Thank God, we’re living now in the acceptable year of the Lord!