“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers” (2 Timothy 4:3).
Teachers are instructors who mold the character of those who subject themselves as students to learn. The world is being fashioned by teachers. There are men and women who take what they have come to know and feed others who are eager to learn. There is not a shortage of teachers. But the problem Paul was addressing was that there would be a number of people whose hearts remain unchanged. They will seek to be instructed in matters of choice rather than in truth. Their level of toleration of God’s Word would be on the decline. Yet their appetites for instructions in how to fend off any doctrine that would equip them in the ways of God would increase. They will gather to themselves instructors who would help them build up defenses against what God would have them to know. An intellectual argument and one’s ability to defend his position often can become a callous over the soul. It is when the heart is tender that God’s Word can penetrate it thus drawing the wayward unto Himself. Itching ears suggests a hunger for what one wishes to hear. The challenge is lacking when one is anxious to be prematurely affirmed. It feels good to the soul but is destructive to the spirit. We need teachers who will teach us in the ways of God. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, will only work within those who have reached the point of wanting nothing other than the will of the Lord done on earth as it is in heaven.