I read in an obituary today where a woman was credited with being teachable and that it led to her being successful in the things she did. That statement was a bit odd in an obituary, I thought, but I remembered it as I read my daily scripture reading in Matthew 13:15:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.“
Jesus as talking about why He taught in parables. I believe it was because He was protecting them. As long as they didn’t understand, they would not be as accountable as they would be if they just refused to do what was right. He wanted them to be willing and joyful in their acceptance.
I think about those words “this people’s heart has become calloused.” How would this happen? Perhaps they had been hurt, angered by mistreatment, or hadn’t learned to trust in ultimate good. Perhaps they closed off their heart and said, “I won’t be hurt, or I want my own way.” According to our knowledge of God, we know He was busy reassuring the person that they were loved and they could trust Him, but as they closed their ears again and again, their hearts became hard enough to silence His voice. Or at least not to hear it.
Jesus was telling them stories through parables. If our “soil” is deep, rich and ready for planting, we remember and recall stories much better than lectures. He told them about agriculture and how it related to heaven’s lessons. That is what they did for a living, and I bet each time they were out in the fields, they remembered what He said. With time to think as they went about those tasks, they were teachable.
Being teachable means we are willing to go this way or that way as the Spirit prompts. Thus, the woman mentioned in the obituary met success wherever she went. It is interesting to watch how people learn. Some will gently accept truth and act according, and others need to kick about and protest first. They kick up clouds of dust, growl and make quite a commotion before they settle down. God loves both kinds. From past experience, and some growling of my own, I have learned it is much easier on the nerves to be the wise person and not the hardheaded donkey.