The Incarnation in cultural terms
Perhaps the best way to perceive the “underdog” nature of the Incarnation is to transpose it into terms we can relate to today. An unwed mother, homeless, was forced to look for shelter while traveling to meet the heavy taxation demands of a colonial government. She lived in a land recovering from violent civil wars and still in turmoil situation much like that in modern Darfur, Iraq, or Somalia. Like half of all mothers who deliver today, she gave birth in Asia, in its far western corner, the part of the world that would prove least receptive to the son she bore. That son became a refugee in Africa, the continent where most refugees can still be found.
I wonder what Mary thought about her militant Magnificat hymn during her harrowing years in Egypt. For a Jew, Egypt evoked bright memories of a powerful God who had flattened a pharaoh’s army and brought liberation; now Mary fled there, desperate, a stranger in a strange land hiding from her own government. Could her Baby, hunted, helpless, on the run, possibly fulfill the lavish hopes of His people?
Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew, 40.