“Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Lk 2:34).
Births are produced out of pain. The agony of a mother in labor will eventually end at the bringing forth of her newborn child. God had sent forth His Son into a hostile world to rule and reign over it. But those who would subject themselves to His reign had to be born into His kingdom. All others would challenge and work at undermining His authority. His coming on the world scene would produce promotion among those to whom God willed to promote, but the demotion of any whose reign God arbitrarily decided to bring to an end. What had been introduced through the law and the prophets was now personified and fulfilled in one person. None could remain neutral to His presence. Jesus would either bring the best out of them or the worst out of them. When confronted with Jesus, whatever resides within the hearts of individuals is brought to the surface. And those who fully identify will suffer with Him as partakers of what would be measured against Him even to this day. If we are willing to go into labor with Him for souls, we too will experience new births, but an earnest desire for genuine conversions will come with a price. Israel was about to see a new day. Her King was born but would grow to experience the rejections of those He was to rule over.
Jesus brings the best out of us or the worst out of us. Nevertheless, every individual that is ever confronted with Him cannot remain neutral. The pompous and proud are brought low as they come to realize how weak and fallible they really are compared to the Source of strength. The humble are made aware of how God is able to work through those who would surrender their all to Him.