I’ve pondered this verse many times: Jesus says to the Pharisees, “Woe to you experts in the law, because you take away the key to knowledge. You yourselves do not enter, and you hinder those who are entering.” (Luke 11: 52, NIV)
Jesus speaks to the Pharisees about “loading people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and not lifting one finger to help them.” (Luke 11:46) And He speaks to them of “building tombs for the prophets” even though their forefathers murdered those very same prophets.
I think Jesus tells the Pharisees that they have no knowledge of God at all. These “experts in the law” miss the whole show, so to speak. Worse yet, they parade around as if they know God and know the way to Him. And in their burdening of the people with rules and regulations, they hinder these same people from “the key to knowledge.”
In Jesus’ day, the “key to knowledge” is the Torah. Who takes it away from the people who are trying to enter into it? The very ones who ought to know it and teach it appropriately — the experts!
Jesus warns us not to hinder the children from coming to Him. Children are those who do not have any knowledge of Him except what they see and hear from those of us who claim to know and worship Him. Let us beware that we “experts in faith” do not hinder those who are “entering” the Word for the very first time!