Naturally men are the most unteachable creatures in the world. The prophet Isaiah was sent to preach to a people who keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive. Perhaps you can relate to Isaiah’s hopeless errand of presenting the gospel of Christ to a people who keep on hearing the truth of Christ but do not understand. Sadly, your message makes their hearts dull and their ears heavy and you hear the refrain once again ‘I just don’t understand how you can believe what you believe,’ and also ‘I’m happy you believe that but it is not for me.’
How will you teach one that can neither see, nor hear, nor understand?
The bible tells us that this is the case of every natural man, that is, every man who doesn’t have the Spirit of God inside them or to put it in old fashion Christian terminology, born again.
1. Every natural man is blind and cannot see spiritual truths. 2Co 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2. Every natural man is deaf and cannot hear spiritual truths. Psa 58:3-4 The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies. They have venom like the venom of a serpent, like the deaf adder that stops its ear.
3. Every natural man is foolish, and cannot understand spiritual truths. Romans 3:11, There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, together they have become useless; there is no one who does good, there is not even one.
Also the natural man cannot accept the things of God and the message of the cross is folly to him. 1Co 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
Matthew Mead writes “a teachable frame of mind is a special mercy of God, it is one of the greatest blessings of the new covenant. "They shall all be taught of God!" John 6:45. "They shall all know Me—from the least to the greatest," Jer. 31:34.”
“An unteachable heart is a great judgment from God. This was Pharaoh's judgment; no counsel, no message, no reproof, no warning, no plague could soften him! When the Lord designs to bring judgment upon a soul, then he gives it up to an unteachable heart! "Tell my people this: 'You will hear my Words, but you will not understand. You will see what I do, but you will not perceive its meaning. Harden the hearts of these people. Close their ears, and shut their eyes. That way, they will not see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn to me for healing!' Then I said, 'Lord, how long must I do this?' And he replied, 'Until their cities are destroyed, with no one left in them. Until their houses are deserted and the whole country is an utter wasteland!'" Isaiah 6:9-11.”
A teachable spirit is a great mercy of God and it is one that we ought to pray for when conversing with those who do not yet believe in the truth of the gospel. With a teachable spirit comes a softened heart, and with a softened heart comes an accepting heart ready to accept God’s truth and thus be saved.