He was popular with normal people because of the miracles he performed e.g. healing of the lame man, turning water into wine. The Jewish leaders hated Jesus and despised his claim to be the son of God. They felt threatened because of Jesus’ popularity with the people. He often criticised them and made them feel stupid. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!” (Matthew23:27) Jesus spent time with people who were social outcasts e.g. lepers. He also had a lot of respect for women which was unusual at the time.
The parables he told people e.g. The good Samaritan, The farmer sowing seeds. His teachings were very controversial as many people expected him to drive the Romans out with force but he taught people to love their enemies. “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.” (Luke6:35) He also told people that you shouldn’t resist an evil person, “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person.
If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew5:39)
He told people that they should not swear on anything, “But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.” (Matthew5:34-5:35) He told them that they should be so honest that they don’t need to make promises.
“Simply let your Yes be Yes, and your No, No; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew5:37)
He was also expected to deliver the Jews from the Romans and they thought he could be the long awaited Messiah. The Romans suspected that he was a rebel leader who wanted to rise against them. They were worried about his growth in popularity. He told people that he was the son of God. This caused a lot of confusion and anger among the people as many people didn’t believe him.