An oddly prosaic passage nestled in amongst the signs and wonders. John here sites a Jesus saying also found in the Synoptics:
And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown.
–Luke 4:24 (NRSV)
Yet John’s sense is different from Luke’s. Luke uses it to show the saying to be true — the folks at Capernaum rejected him. John seems to present this as a fear of Jesus’ – a fear not realized — at least on this occasion.
The rural folks welcome Jesus for they had gone to festival and seen him clear the temple. And they applauded him for the act. The same clearing of the temple is seen as cause for Jesus arrest and execution in the other gospels.
I suspect John gets it right. The city folks are appalled at Jesus making a scene and interupting their commerce and daring to challenge The Way It Has Always Been. The fishermen and farmers — the poor of the hedgerows and countryside see him as one of their own giving the power-elites the finger in a public display.
When I am honest with myself — which is not often enough — I wonder how I would respond to Jesus if he were to escape the relative safety of an Ancient Near Eastern Text? Am I too sophisticated to follow my God?