Jesus said to Nicodemus; “You are the teacher of Israel and these things you do not know?” (John 3:10).
This speaks to the problem of religion; too many believe that they are able to receive truth via the intellect; that it can be reduced to a theological doctrine that is transferable from one generation to another without any input other than the doctrinal facts.
In Jesus’ own day the rulers of the Jews “were amazed at His teaching because His word was in authority (Luke 4:32). They recognised that what He taught was true because His teaching carried with it divine authority, as witnessed to by the signs that followed. Yet they could not understand how this could be since He had received no formal training at their hands; “the Jews were wondering therefore, saying; “How is it this man has understood scripture, not having studied?” (John 7:15)
This is no less a problem today that it was in Jesus’ time. Too many pastors, teachers etc. hold on to the doctrine that they themselves received from other men and pass it on to the next generation; the result is that the Church is dying spiritually.
It is quite common for people to be instructed in the rudiments of the faith and yet have absolutely no real understanding of what it all means. It is also quite common for people to go on to become “experts” in the Bible and to have no spiritual illumination whatsoever, with the result that a veil remains over the mind cutting it off from taking hold of the spiritual essence of the truth.
There are many Churches that teach the Bible and conduct Sunday schools for the Christian education of children and yet never produce from this system a virile godliness or a living faith. Their people show no evidence of having passed from death into life, nor are any of the earmarks of the redeemed life so clearly identified in scripture to be found in them. Their lives are religious, ordered, correct and reasonably moral, but they are wholly mechanical and lacking altogether in any display of the shekinah radiance resting upon them. Most of them are quite serious about it all but they are spiritually blind, getting along with the outer shell of faith while inwardly, in the deepest parts of their innermost being, they are starving for spiritual reality.