In A Theology of Mark, Hans Bayer places Mark’s Gospel in its biblical context and explores the dynamic relationship between Jesus and his disciples. Focusing on the transformation that took place in the hearts of Jesus’ disciples, Bayer underscores their radical transformation from self-dependence to reliance on God.
“Based on these observations, the ultimate purpose of Mark is to legitimize Jesus’ universal and authoritative call to discipleship (see the narrative repetition of this theme and the fact that the audience of Jesus splits into followers and opponents as the narrative unfolds). The two-fold outline presented above demonstrates that the central effort in presenting this call is to narrate the identity, action, teaching, and severe testing of Jesus. This fact already indicates that discipleship in Mark is essentially a function of the eminence of the Master’s person, deeds, and teaching, not of a certain code of conduct for the disciples.” (Page 24)
“The Student. Most boys in Jewish Palestine began their formal education at age seven and ended it by age fourteen.13 School was held every day from sunup to sundown, except on the Sabbath. In the afternoon of each Sabbath, however, fathers would examine their sons on material learned during the previous week.” (Page 14)
“A final important observation regarding bios is that the character of its hero is often intended to be imitated by the reader/hearer.9 This raises the intriguing question as to what degree the very genre of Mark’s account hints that Jesus’ person and actions are to be imitated by his followers. We will argue that Jesus teaches, exemplifies, and above all enables ‘pattern-imitation’ among his followers rather than simply calling for a simplistic, self-generated ‘copying of Christ.’ But we must take note of a ‘pattern-imitation theme’ embedded in the genre itself.” (Page 12)