My understanding is that first century Jews in Judea, Jerusalem, etc, would have known that Jesus could not possibly be the messiah, because the messiah was expected to be triumphant in life, and no prophecies regarding the messiah suggested that he would be humiliated, tortured, and murdered in the most appalling manner imaginable by the pagan Romans. Indeed, crucifixion was the most humiliating and degrading form of execution in the eyes of Romans and Jews living under the Roman yoke alike; this is the opposite of what was expected of the messiah.
I imagine the conversation would go like this1:
Disciple: "Hello, fellow Jewish person, I want to tell you about the messiah, Jesus."
Jewish person: "Okay, I'm willing to listen. I hadn't heard that the messiah had already shown up."
D: "Oh, yes, he came. Then he did some miracles, and the Romans killed him by crucifixion, but then..."
J: "Let me stop you right there. Did you just say that the messiah was crucified?"
D: "I sure did, but the best part is that...."
J: "Okay, I have to stop you again. If you really believe that the messiah was killed, you have clearly never read the scriptures"
D: "Well, no, I haven't, because I'm actually illiterate, but.."
J: "I'm leaving now. Goodbye."
1: This is obviously not meant to be taken entirely seriously, although it conveys my point pretty well. It is a humorous illustration of the idea that a Jew would immediately know Jesus wasn't the messiah upon hearing that he had been crucified.
Am I correct in this understanding? Would the fact that Jesus was humiliated and defeated by pagans automatically disqualify him from being a messiah? Is there any scriptural reason to believe that the messiah would suffer such a fate?
Note: I know that the question of why modern Jews don't believe in Jesus has already been asked here, and that is not my question. I am interested in the views of Jewish people at the time in which Jesus lived and died, specifically in relation to the expectations regarding the messiah.
I'm an atheist, but I'm interested in the history of the early church, early Christology, biblical hermeneutics, textual criticism of the bible, and Patristic theology. I'm auditing courses in these subjects at Princeton Theological Seminary. On a personal level, I have more respect for Judaism than Christianity, because Jews don't use their religion as an excuse to meddle in the affairs of other people.
My personal view is that Jesus was entirely Jewish, and had no intention of starting a new religion; he didn't believe himself to be the Son of God in any literal sense. I believe that Christians have badly misunderstood Jesus' message and mission. In my understanding, Jesus was not the Jewish messiah, and might not have claimed to be such (although it does seem likely that he did call himself a messiah, at least in private).
I am well aware that "the Jews" as such did not kill Jesus, the Romans did, and the only Jews who played a role in this were the Temple authorities who arrested him. I also believe that he brought it on himself to a large degree, by provoking the authorities at the most tense and dangerous time of year, Passover.