In Luke 4:19, what does “acceptable year of the Lord/LORD” mean and to what year does it refer?
Jesus said: "Today this scripture (Isaiah 61:1-2) that you just heard is fulfilled."—Luke 4:16-21. Luke provides many examples of the fulfillment of the OT scriptures, on this occasion Jesus quoted from the prophets, and applied the prophecy to himself, indicating that the beginning of his ministry was the period God allowed to show goodwill or favor and accepting people.
His commission was:
Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has
anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind
up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and
release from darkness for the prisoners,[a] 2 to proclaim the year of
the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all
His Commission certainly was not to liberate the Jews from their bondage to the pagan Roman Empire, but to liberate mankind from the subjection to sin and its penalty of death, was what God in his favor held forth through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ.
The Jewish People.
God showed his goodwill, firstly to his people the Jewish Nation, by Jesus 3.5 years followed by the apostles for another 3.5 years. The acceptable year of the Lord ended for the Jewish Nation in 70 C.E., the "day of vengeance" came when the Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple. The period of Goodwill lasted for 40 years from the beginning of Jesus' ministry, a long time when compared to the "day of vengeance. This also ended the Jewish opposition to the spread of Christianity.
To the Gentiles.
This year of goodwill will conclude with another, more widespread day of vengeance, when God brings about the destruction of this entire world of the wicked mankind, at the "great tribulation"
Matthew 24:21 (NASB)
21" For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not
occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever
But first Jesus said "the good news of the Kingdom "must be preached to the whole world.
Matthew 24:14 World English Bible
"This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for
a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come."
Today those that take advantage of God's year of goodwill will benefit and find comfort in the proclamation of the Good News of the Kingdom. Those however that reject God's year of goodwill will face the reality of his "day of vengeance."
2 Thessalonians 1:6-9 (NKJV)
6 "Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power."