The form of the Gospels as stories of a life are meant not only to display that life, but to train us to situate our lives in relation to that life. For it was assumed by the churches that gave us the Gospels that we cannot know who Jesus is and what he stands for without learning to be his followers. Hence the ironic form of Mark, which begins by announcing to the reader this is the "good news about Jesus, the anointed one, the son of God," but in depicting the disciples shows how difficult it is to understand the significance of the news. You cannot know who Jesus is after the resurrection unless you have learned to follow Jesus during his life. His life and crucifixion of necessary to purge us of false notions about what kind of kingdom Jesus brings ... Only by following him to Jerusalem, where he becomes subject to the powers of this world, do we learn what the kingdom entails, as well as what kind of messiah this Jesus is.
(Stanley Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom, 1983)