Galilee was an area inhabited primarily by Jews who had returned home from exile in Babylon. Though they were released years earlier, many of them did not immediately come back to Israel. Instead, they settled in Greek-speaking cities where they practiced Judaism but also picked up some of the local culture. As they trickled back to their homeland, most of them settled in the northern region. Though they were very much Jewish and believed in Torah, they also believed in miracles and were more prophetic in their faith, kind of like the charismatic Christians of today.
On the other hand, the Jews who lived in the southern region of Judea were more conservative, wealthier, and strict and orthodox in their faith. Jerusalem is where the temple was as well as the Sanhedrin. While you might expect Jesus would have gone there to launch his ministry in the heart of Hebrew culture, the truth is that He spent nearly all of His time on earth preaching in the region of Galilee. You see, the Lord was a revolutionary and He gravitated to people whose hearts were open to seeing things outside the box of religious tradition.
I share this with you, my friend, to remind you that the message of Christianity finds a home in the hearts of those who have lived long in the land of exile. The ones who have dwelt outside the bubble of tradition understand that the unconditional love of Jesus is radical, yet it is the human heart’s greatest fulfillment. As a disciple of Jesus, it’s important to roam outside the safety of the church, for only in doing so can you truly be a light in the darkness!