Mark does not canonize suffering in itself as an absolute good or as the unique form of Christian discipleship. Jesus predicts that suffering will come as a concomitant to preaching the gospel (13:11), but the posture during suffering is to be one of faithful endurance (13:13) and watchfulness before the end (13:34-36). Jesus is not simply a model to be' followed on the way of suffering, but a model of one who in the midst of suffering can address God as abba, and who can see in suffering the will of God, even with the awareness that this will could be otherwise (14:34-36). The conjunction of suffering and discipleship leads one to the mystery of God and not simply to a contemplation of the cross of Jesus.
From "A Neglected Factor in the Theology of Mark" JBL 101, 1982, 563-594
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