If this story of Jesus is the story of Israel reaching its climax, it is inescapably political and will raise questions the Western world has chosen not to raise, let alone face, throughout the period of so-called critical scholarship. The post-Enlightenment world was born out of a movement that split church and state apart and has arranged even its would-be historical scholarship accordingly; and that same Enlightenment insisted that Judaism was the wrong kind of religion, far too gross, far too material. Rejection, from the start, of a “political” reading of the gospels and of a “Jewish” reading went together. Fortunately, genuine history–the actual study of the actual sources–can sometimes strike back and insist that what a previous generation turned off this generation can at last turn back on. It is time, and long past time, to reread the gospels as what we can only call political theology–not because they are not after all about God and spirituality and new birth and holiness and all the rest, but precisely because they are.
~ from How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels by N.T. Wright