In the Gospel of John the word Jewish refers to the leaders of the Jewish people. They are the ones who are literally trying to kill Jesus: The Greek word used here is apoktèino - formed from apò, "away from, far from", and ktèino, "I kill" - meaning "I kill, I condemn to death, I destroy, I eliminate, I end. "
The leaders of the Jewish people were trying to eliminate Jesus, to destroy Him, to condemn Him to death, to kill Him, but not for religious reasons. It is never a question of religion, but religion has always proven to be a great cover for any form of injustice and tyranny on the part of the powerful under the guise of authority of holy divine justice. They are trying to kill Jesus because Jesus is taking away their prey, the people.
Jesus inspires the people to find a new consciousness, a new identity; He is awakening them to a new and unimaginable relationship with God; He is warming their hearts with the procedures of forgiveness and of sharing; He is enlightening their minds with the power of knowledge, leading them to true understanding of the Scripture and of His Word. Jesus is transforming the sheep, the prey, into men, into free and loving sons of God. The predators risk, thus, losing their prey, their meat to butcher, human resources to use for their own interests. The leaders of the people are trying to violently eliminate Jesus because Jesus has the spiritual power to transform the prey into free men and to tear them away from the jaws of the predators.
That is how it was and will always be. Jesus does not have armies to defend Himself, not on this earth, but only the faith and love of those who believe in Him. When the faith and love of those who believe in Jesus, the Son of God, will enter the heart of human history and everyday choice like an unrelenting tide, it will be then that the leaders of the people, the predators, will be afraid and will not know what to do and in the end they will be forgotten like dry leaves in the wind.