Sometimes it is so hard to think in spiritual terms. It seems that the Jews were a very sensual people in that they took everything that Jesus said in a physically literal way. I think that many today also gravitate towards literal interpretations and by doing that they often miss the greater spiritual message. So often religious people find themselves arguing over whether the creation story was literal and they miss the fact that they agree on the idea that God actually created everything that we see. Such was the literalism of Jesus' times.
I believe that the struggle we see in this passage is the ongoing war between evil and good.. carnal and spiritual.. mind and heart. Here is the way that Jesus explains it in another place:
"seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand"There are things that can only be discerned spiritually and if we do not approach them in that way we will, like the Pharisees, be angry enough to take things in our own hands. And when we take spiritual matters in our own fleshly hands we will find ourselves (like the Pharisees) fighting against, rather than flowing with, God. It is a sobering message.
Open the eyes of my heart Lord. I want to see life from your perspective.