The primary reasons the elite Jewish leaders opposed Jesus was because they held their Oral laws in higher authority than the Torah. Furthermore, these men used religion for their own wealth and security. They were extremely legalistic, wealthy, and with little or no compassion for those who had become economic slaves to the Romans. Fortunately, most Pharisees, who controlled the local synagogues, were honorable, hard-working, loving and kind to their congregations — completely different from the aristocratic Pharisees, Hellenists, and Sadducees in Jerusalem.
In sharp contrast to the elite leadership, Jesus always spoke with compassion to those who came to learn or to be healed, especially to those who were rejected by the temple priesthood. He never overloaded his audience with philosophy, theology, or excessive words. In fact, Jesus trusted His followers, such as the Apostle Paul, to put together His ideas, theology, ethics, and guidelines for the church. He spoke of Scripture (Old Testament) as revelation that was self-authenticating, rather than a legal code to be feared or used as a weapon. Therefore, the people loved him.