John MacArthur wrote a few weeks back for the Washington Post’s On Faith series. A snippet:
The first word of his first sermon was “Repent!”–a theme that was no more welcome and no less strident-sounding than it is today. The first act of his public ministry touched off a small riot. He made a whip of cords and chased money-changers and animal merchants off the Temple grounds. That initiated a three-year-long conflict with society’s most distinguished religious leaders. They ultimately handed him over to Roman authorities for crucifixion while crowds of lay people cheered them on.
Jesus was pointedly, deliberately, and dogmatically counter-cultural in almost every way. No wonder the religious and academic aristocracy of his generation were so hostile to him.