"The Word of the kingdom of God is for everyone, but everyone may not be ready for it. If you go into a town and they do not want to listen to the Word, give them your greetings of peace and leave that place. Hold no grievance against them. The time will come that they will listen. Shake the dust from your sandals and go joyously to the next place, always remembering that it is the Holy Spirit's plan you follow. You do not know."
(v 14 - 29) The Word is sometimes heard and recognized, but not accepted because the one who seems to listen lets ego thoughts rule his mind. Ego thoughts are thoughts of separation that say within your mind, "You are separate and different from all you know, and for this you are guilty. You must protect yourself, for when your guilt is unmasked, you will suffer endlessly. You will be cut off from all that is and from life itself." These thoughts are evil thoughts of deception that you have come to believe. The only peace from them is to stop believing in them completely. This is the opportunity you recognize when you hear the Light within the good news. The story of King Herod and John the Baptist is the story of a man who recognized the opportunity for peace, but let that opportunity pass him by out of fear. For Herod was fascinated by the words that John the Baptist spoke. Although he did not always understand what John said, there was something within the words that Herod craved. Therefore, Herod was willing to forgive John when he accused Herod of sinning by marrying his brother's wife, Herodias.
Herodias, however, was not attracted to John's words and felt no desire to forgive him. In her mind, it was through John that her guilt would be unmasked, which would mean the beginning of unending suffering for her. In her mind, her only defense was to have John quieted. And to her, the most permanent means for quieting a man was her surest method of security. She wanted to see John dead. But her husband would not agree, and this enraged her. One day, an opportunity seemed to be given her. Her beautiful, ripe, young daughter, step-daughter and niece to Herod, was invited to dance at Herod's birthday party. All of the men were very entertained by her dance. They urged Herod to reward her. Herod was also entertained by his young niece's dance, and so he agreed to please her, that she may be eager to please him again one day. He asked her to choose her gift, and he promised she could pick anything, imagining she would pick some lovely jewels to adorn her fine body. But Herod's niece chose to listen to the pleading of her mother, and so she asked Herod to bring her John's head on a platter.
Herod was shocked by her request. But the men around the birthday table laughed in amusement, for John was nothing to them. Herod could see no way out except to keep his word, or he would be unmasked before everyone at the celebration, and there his unending suffering would begin.
Herod ordered the beheading of John the Baptist. As he did, fear crept up in his throat. "Surely now," he thought, "I am guilty, and punishment will be my final reward."
So when Herod heard news of Jesus, his fear returned to him. For Herod believed the ghost of John inhabited the body of Jesus, and this ghost was working his way through the land, building up followers, waiting for the time to be right to seek just vengeance on Herod. Herod lived in fear.
(v 30 - 44) The apostles returned to Jesus after a week of teaching to talk of adventures, frustrations, miracles, and to ask questions. In one week of teaching alone, the apostles had grown far in faith. Their trust in the Holy Spirit was developing.
Yet there was still confusion among them as to how some questions should be answered. So Jesus agreed to a day of rest, during which the apostles could ask their questions and be prepared for another week of teaching.
Jesus and the apostles intended to go to a remote place and delve deeper into the truths alone, but the Holy Spirit led many interested followers to go with them. So Jesus taught all of the people in this way:
His apostles gathered questions from the crowd and brought them to him. Jesus answered the questions for the apostles, who took the answers back to the crowd. In this way, the apostles were able to hear how the master addressed questions from the masses, and the masses were able to hear all of the questions and all of the answers without any strain or difficulty. In this way, everyone received their full.
(v 45 - 56) When the teaching was complete, Jesus sent the apostles away by boat to begin a second week of teaching two-by-two. Jesus stayed behind with the crowd, feeling no compelling guidance to leave the place where he was.
During the night, as the people rested, Jesus went up on a hill near a small tree to pray and meditate. Within his mind, he sought the opportunity to exceed the limits of his body, knowing that his body could not contain him. He gave himself and his will to the Holy Spirit and rested his mind until the desire for this experience left him. When he was no longer attached to the idea of the experience, a quietness filled his mind. A lifting and movement seemed to occur, although his body did not move. Jesus rested within this experience of the mind, giving it to the Holy Spirit in faith for the purpose of healing and recognizing Self.
Meanwhile, Peter and the other apostles slept on their boats, resting before a morning of travel and teaching were upon them. Peter was restless and could not sleep, so Peter went out into the air to meditate among the stars.