The life he has planned for Christians is a Christian life, much like the life he lived. He was not poor that we might be rich. He was not mocked that we might be honored. He was not laughed at so that we could be lauded. On the contrary, he was revealing the Christian picture of man, one that was meant to include you and me.
In choosing to be born in utter obscurity, the king of the universe ignored conventional expectations. He celebrated in his own birthday the freedom to be unorthodox. In failing to live up to people's presuppositions, Jesus became a stumbling block to many of his contemporaries. The houseborken Jewish imagination cringed at the crib, shuttered at the ersatz salvation of a humble, unpredictable God. A king in rags was an insult to the finely honed intellect of the Pharisee and the rational mind of the scribe. There is a fascinating principle at work here in very religious people: 'Messiah, you get our allegiance only when you fulfill our expectations.' Brennan Manning