According to Mark, the disciples are invited to follow Jesus in cross-bearing servanthood. This is more than imitatio Christi or simply the consequence of following Jesus. Rather, Jesus calls them to participate in his redemptive suffering: cross-bearing discipleship is part of the redeeming purposes of God because they are participate in the mission of Jesus as Son of Man. When Mark's gospel is read in the early Christian communities, this is how they would hear the call to cross bearing discipleship. This understanding especially illuminates our understanding of Paul's emphasis on cruciform living and is consistent with other NT views.