At a Bible study the other night my pastor made a point which I found interesting: He pointed out that while many people, including the disciples, didn't always pick up on everything Jesus said, the Pharisees did. They paid attention to everything he said and after his death they were the ones to realize Jesus had spoken of rising again in three days. That is of course why they posted a guard at his tomb. The point of this is that while the Pharisees knew scripture, knew Mosaic law, claimed to know doctrine, and were very expressive in public with prayer, still they did not comprehend.
The comprehension of God's word comes directly from God but it has to be that one is in a receptive state of mind which cannot follow unless the heart is with God. The Pharisees had knowledge of religion, but they were a long way from loving God. They were tied to the world. They were highly impressed with their place in the world as religious leaders and they wanted all the pomp that went with that. And so they stood by and listened to Jesus teach, heard every single word, knew scripture, were quite amazed with his ability to interpret scripture, and saw the miracles he performed, but still did not concede - did not understand. The fact seems to be that they did not want to understand, and God let it be.
Thinking about all this proves out to be a good lesson in life for any of us. God wants us to come to him and we're all invited to do so, but we need to open our hearts. The world can be a distraction, but the closer we come to the presence of God, honestly, the less the things of the world concern us. God's love is so complete and the longer we are with Him the more we learn how to live in this world but be separate from it. How sad for the Pharisees that they did not grasp this, but let's remember that it goes back to a heart that is unwilling to receive God's love and let's give thanks for the understanding within our own hearts and never depart from it.