Balaam was a professional "curser" hired by the enemies of Israel to curse the Israelites in the desert. In addition to being world-class at uttering curses upon nations, Balaam was world-class in arrogance as well. He boasted that he could see what Almighty God sees, yet on the trip to the desert, he couldn't even see what his donkey saw! (see Nm 22:22-35)
Those in authority at the time of Jesus considered themselves guardians of the truth and the law. In their arrogance, they considered the people lost and themselves the keepers of the truth (see Jn 7:47-49). They even challenged the authority of God to teach His own people in His own house! (Mt 21:23) Sadly, they couldn't see the Truth standing before them in the person of Jesus (Jn 14:6).
"When dealing with the arrogant, [God] is stern, but to the humble He shows kindness" (Prv 3:34). "The arrogance of men will be abased
For the Lord of hosts will have His day against all that is proud and arrogant, all that is high, and it will be brought low" (Is 2:11-12). "The arrogant may not stand in [God's] sight" (Ps 5:6). Perhaps this is why so many could not recognize the Infant Jesus at the first Christmas. It was the lowly shepherds (Lk 2:8ff) and those who invested the time and expense to seek the Lord (Mt 2:1ff) who saw the Baby Jesus and recognized Him.
The Lord calls us to repent of pride, self-exaltation, and arrogance and become "a people humble and lowly" (Zep 3:12). Those who humble themselves in the sight of the Lord are rewarded with the sight of the Lord.