Jesus may not have been the illiterate unworldly peasant. Jesus's view of Judism was Essene influenced, as John the Baptist was himself an Essene. And, there are obvious similarities, or borrowing, in what John and then Jesus taught, and the prevailing philosophies of the time: cynics and stoics
So, yeah, Jesus was a Jew, and he was preaching an interpretation, or reinterpretation, of the laws and the prophets to fit the world he knew.
I agree with Llama that Jesus was not a "universalist," but typically we understand the parable of the caanite woman to mean that gentiles could receive and understand his theology. What interests me in terms of historical curiosity and also trying to decipher what he did teach is the historical context of his time. And, as a Christian what's interesting both how politics and power have altered his message as well as the holy spirit acted to keep the message alive.
I've thought he was obviously devinely inspired, but the American protestant, and even traditional Christian, emphasis on his supposedly being all knowing and all powerful always seemed to me to be contradictory to the notion that God sent his own son to suffer being a human. IF he had god-like powers, he wasn't human. Ames notion of him being a Godhead is interesting.