In a world which cares passionately about descent, he would have been born illegitimate, had his disgraced mother not been rescued by marriage to another man. His associates are at best unimpressive. He is often found in the company of collaborators and prostitutes, the diseased and the insane. He joins an exciting new movement; shortly thereafter its leader is beheaded. He takes it over, only to be repudiated and betrayed by his own followers. In time, he too is executed.
Most myth and fable is too good to be true, but the gospel narrative is too unutterably depressing to be false. Except of course the beginning and end, of which presumably the reverse is the case. To believe otherwise would be an act of will.