"If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself." (John 7:17)
A willing heart of obedience is an absolute prerequisite for understanding God's Word. Only to an obedient heart does God make known his most precious truths. That person "comes to understand, to comprehend" (Greek ginosko) the teaching of our Lord. The Pharisees were not willing to do what God might reveal to them, so God would not illuminate their minds to understand what Jesus was teaching. They felt they could judge God’s Word, rather than letting God’s Word judge them.
In 1 Corinthians 2:14-15, Paul says, "But the natural (soulish) man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one." But the Corinthian Christians were neither "natural," that is, unsaved people, nor spiritual people: they were "carnal" (fleshly) Christians, infantile in their understanding of spiritual truths. So they could not fully comprehend the deep things of God. Paul says he had to feed them with "milk" and not "solid food," because they were not able to digest it.
Christians whose focus is still on themselves--on their own desires, their own ambitions, their own pleasures--are still "fleshly" and are not able to receive the rich doctrines of God's Word. And this fleshly attitude results in "envy, strife, and divisions" (1 Corinthians 3:3).
Only when we have a true heart of complete obedience will God open our spiritual eyes to the most precious riches of His Word. We need the heart of Samuel who said, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.”
Let’s pray with the “sweet psalmist” David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24)