The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he hath anointed me…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. (Luke 4:18–20 KJV)
Jesus astonished the congregants of His hometown Synagogue when He declared, using the scriptures, that God had anointed Him to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. His listeners were perplexed. They understood what He meant or implied but were in disbelief; they knew the acceptable year of the Lord is a season of the wonderful works of the coming Messiah.
Interestingly, the acceptable year of the Lord is not about acceptance or a calendar year. Instead, it is a season of God’s favor: the acceptable year is the year of the Lord’s favor. It transcends acceptance, and it is not limited to a particular calendar year. This year of the Lord’s favor is a season in which God bestows unmerited favor upon humanity; He lavishes people with graces they neither earn nor deserve.
Isaiah described the events of this year of the Lord’s favor:
“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; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1–3 KJV)
During the acceptable year of the Lord, the brokenhearted are bound up, captives are liberated, the prison doors open to those who are bound. Furthermore, He gives beauty for ashes, oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Otherwise stated, the acceptable year of the Lord is a season when the Spirit of the Lord decorates humanity with heavenly jewels and provokes joy and celebration. It is the season of the Messiah.
Behold, now is the year of the Lord’s favor! We enjoy privileges and partake of blessings that the Old Testament prophets longed to have but could not. These blessings come to us because of Christ, by the Spirit through faith. We stand on a platform where nothing that is God’s will can be withheld from us. With this season in mind, the writer of Hebrews urges us:
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 KJV)
Come unto the throne. It is a throne of grace, of divine favor. There is grace for our finances, health, families, ministries, etc.
What is the meaning of “acceptable” and “year” as described above?
Apply the Word
The Lord says you live in a remarkable season where “everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:8 ESV). We are living in good time to relate with God—Jesus has come, and the Spirit is here. Stir up your faith and take hold of the grace in Christ.
Thank the Father for the privilege of living in this season of divine favor.