Bible passage: Isaiah 9:1-2
Written: Between 701-681 BC
Although Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which is near Jerusalem in the southern part of the land of Israel, he was raised in the northern part of the land, in Nazareth, which is in the region of Galilee.
During the time of Jesus, about 2,000 years ago, many Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) lived in the region of Galilee.
When Jesus began his public ministry, he initially focused on the towns in the region of Galilee. He would travel to different towns and synagogues in the region, preach, teach and perform miracles.
In fact, most of the 37 miracles that are recorded by the four Gospel writers - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - take place in Galilee.
When Matthew wrote about the early part of Jesus' ministry, he, in Matthew 4:12-17, cited the prophecy found in Isaiah 9:1-2, about the Messiah being a light to Gentiles in Galilee.
Here is Isaiah 9:1-2 (NIV):
1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—
2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.