When we read that a prophet cannot minister in his home town (Matthew 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24, John 4:44) we often wonder why. Many have received the Lord’s salvation, gone home, witnessed successfully to family and even whole towns. We just saw that in the woman at the well and her town Sychar. One must admit there is great distinction between converting one soul that witnesses the freedom from sin’s bonds and a teacher that encourages others to follow them, listen to regular teaching and life changing truths in Christ. One is a witness, one is a teacher, preacher and prophet (Ephesians 4:11).
These great differences are part of what highlights why “no prophet is accepted in his own country.” Moses had a really hard time with the Israelites. Jeremiah was greatly ignored, as were Isaiah and Ezekiel. Quite often in scripture we find that the purest voice goes unheeded or even worse is persecuted for telling the truth. The truth often has a negative connotation. This too is another reason the prophet has a hard time anywhere, let alone in his own country.
In Jesus case, siblings would have heard of His conception of the Holy Spirit from Mary. The family was probably chided all their lives. The towns people may have had a very different view of the family than we might think. Certainly, sibling rivalry could be alive and well akin to Joseph and His brothers. Remember, Jesus lived a perfect life, but Mary, Joseph, His siblings and the people of Nazareth were far from perfect. They made their share of mistakes.
Who knew Him then? Those who are willing to see Him with an open heart; God sends many to prepare people for Jesus (1 Corinthians 3:5-11). God chooses whom to prepare. Sometimes it is not our own town. Sometimes we are prepared here to witness in other places just as Jesus was prepared in Nazareth to witness to the world.