"Some recent interpreters of Jesus have further depoliticized Jesus by eliminating anything uncomfortably judgmental from the “database” of his “authentic” sayings. They claim that John the Baptist, Jesus’ mentor, was an apocalyptic prophet proclaiming judgment, and that Jesus’ immediate followers, just after his death, understood Jesus as an apocalyptic figure, the Son of Man, coming in judgment. Jesus himself, they claim, did not preach judgment. Prophetic sayings of condemnation are the later product of Jesus’ followers who became resentful about their failure and persecution. Jesus himself was thus not a prophet but rather a wisdom teacher, like the wandering Cynic philosophers in Hellenistic cities, teaching an alternative hippie-like lifestyle to a bunch of rootless nobodies. Whatever the credibility of this picture may be as a historical reconstruction, it portrays a depoliticized individual teacher uttering isolated aphorisms that pertain only to an individual counter-cultural lifestyle in no particular political-economic context and with no political implications. It is difficult to understand why the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, would have bothered to crucify such a figure."
Richard Horsley, Jesus and Empire.