Mark 6:1-6 (ESV)
1 He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offence at him. 4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” 5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.
Jesus returns to his home town with a relatively small population.
Archaeological excavations beneath the imposing Churches of the Annunciation and St. Joseph in Nazareth have uncovered a series of grottoes that date to the time of Jesus. The resultant picture is of an obscure hamlet of earthen dwellings chopped into sixty acres of rocky hillside, with a total population of five hundred — at the most.
Edwards, James R.: The Gospel According to Mark. Grand Rapids, Mich; Leicester, England : Eerdmans; Apollos, 2002 (The Pillar New Testament Commentary), S. 169
Jesus taught at the synagogue. He was rejected previously in the synagogue bu the religious elite, now he is rejected by hi sown community and family. As part of their rejection a series of questions are asked. We do not know how much Jesus responded specifically to these questions. But we do know that Mark uses a short witty aphorism as Jesus’ response. T
Mark 6:4 A prophet is not without honour, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.”
Gospel of Thomas 31 Jesus said, “No prophet is welcome on his home turf; doctors don’t cure those who know them.”
Some would argue that Gospel of Thomas is the earlier tradition. However, scholars recognise a trend in the gospel of Thomas of finding together sayings. In this case he has fused together a prophet and a doctor saying. Leaving this debate aside though we see that Jesus recognising that he fulfils, in some sense, the role of a prophet. Jesus, like the prophets, proclaims the arrival of judgement and of vindication for the people of God. Jesus speaks against the injustice, violence, religious pride and offers a message of hope. The church, as followers of Jesus, as kingdom people, need to be prophetic. In being prophetic the church may also be rejected. Yet this is the way of the master.