In first-century Judaism, many Jews expected a royal-political messiah who would liberate Palestine from the Roman oppressors and establish a new age of peace and justice. John, however, presents Jesus primarily as a Teacher-Messiah who liberates people from the spiritual oppression of sin and the devil through his Spirit-imbued teaching. (67; original emphasis)
I'm automatically a little suspicious of any historical claims that assert anything of "many Jews." That this assertion is so typical of late-Second Temple era Judaisms gives me additional pause. Apart from its accuracy, this statement strikes me as simply too blunt to be of much help for either exegesis or historical reconstruction.
But I suspect Bennema here makes a good point about John's portrayal of Jesus' messianic status, that he is a "teacher-messiah" who offers liberation through his teaching. Given my relative inexpertise with the Fourth Gospel, I thought I would solicit the help of those of you more familiar with John's gospel. Is this, in your view, a helpful way of thinking about John's presentation of Jesus' status as "messiah"? I suspect it is, largely because in the Fourth Gospel Jesus opposes his spiritual enemy—the devil [διάβολος; diabolos]—by teaching the truth he has heard from God (see 8.42–47). Contrast that with the synoptic gospels, in which Jesus opposes the devil directly (Mark 1.12–13 parr.) and defeats him repeatedly in his exorcisms (Matt. 12.22–30 parr., passim). Indeed, in John's gospel Jesus doesn't perform a single exorcism, except metaphorically (perhaps) in 12.31, though even here Jesus pronounces a "casting out" rather than performs it.
You Johannine scholars out there: Any thoughts?