Vernon K. Robbins, Jesus the Teacher: A Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation of Mark (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009), 188:
In the Markan passion narrative, after Jesus admits, under interrogation among Jews, to be the Messiah Son of God, people outside Jewish circles of thought refer to Jesus as the King of the Jews. The portrayal of the crucifixion as resulting from the conviction that Jesus was a messianic pretender is likely to stand at the beginning of Christian tradition. The early tradition in 1 Cor. 15:3-5 about Jesus’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection features the title “Messiah” and presupposes that messiahship was integrally linked with Jesus’ death on the cross. Undoubtedly, the concept of a crucified Messiah was a highly offensive thought, and much has been made of this in modern interpretation. From the perspective of socio-rhetorical interpretation, it is important to discover streams of tradition in the Mediterranean world that made it plausible for early Christians to persist with an emphasis on the crucifixion of their Messiah. Analysis of Greco-Roman literature suggests that streams of tradition in Mediterranean culture outside of Jewish and Christian circles provided an excellent milieu for integrating the portrayal of Jesus as a wise disciple-gathering teacher with his portrayal as a suffering, dying king.