Mark 5:13-17 So he gave them permission. . . The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. . . And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. (ESV)
It is certainly a tough phrase to digest: “So he gave them permission” (v13). Jesus gave demons permission to enter a herd of swine, knowing they were going to bring utter havoc to a community (and in particular to a certain unnamed farmer) in the process.
We shouldn’t attempt to get Jesus off the hook here. It is wrong to think Jesus was unaware of what would happen when the demons entered the swine. He knew exactly what they would do. After the pigs died, Jesus wasn’t standing there with a surprised look on his face, saying, “Oops.”
What’s more, from the context of the passage and the rest of Scripture on the subject of idolatry, it appears Jesus actually wanted the demons to drown the pigs. It wasn’t that he merely permitted them to wreak havoc, but rather he wanted them to wreak havoc. I know this view might be difficult for many people to accept, but I do believe it can be substantiated.
Also, there is a strong element of personal application that stems from this point. People who come to grips with the sovereignty of Jesus Christ over demonically-murdered pigs will be more aware of the power of Christ in their lives, even when very bad things are happening to them.
With these thoughts in the background of our minds, we now turn to the fourth question related to the drowning swine incident:
(4) Why Would Jesus Agree to Allow the Demons to Enter the Pigs?
It startles the imagination to think that Jesus and the demons sought the same thing, which was to destroy the swine herd. But we must understand that they sought the same thing for drastically different reasons.
The demons had their own plan and purposes. Legion’s primary goal in causing pig death, it seems, was to distract the people from Jesus. And he actually succeeded in accomplishing this goal. The townspeople were so distraught by the event that they actually asked Jesus to leave (v17).
However, Jesus had his own plan and purposes for allowing the demons to kill the pigs. He was interested in using the event to help people get their priorities straight and wake up to spiritual realities. And his plan worked even better than Legion’s plan, as we will see.
Not on the Same Team
But first, the fact that Jesus and Legion agreed on the pigs as the destination might raise a point of confusion. It could be erroneously thought that they were actually working together. But this would be a terribly wrong understanding of their relationship.
Though they both wanted the same thing in this particular case – the pigs as a destination for the demons – they were not agreeing on this as friends, nor were they operating on the level of mutual partners. Their agreement did not mean they were functioning as a team or cooperative. Jesus was not in league with the demons, not in the least, nor is he ever. In this passage and throughout the Bible, it is clear that Christ and demons are foes and enemies, only and always.
In chapter 7, I highlighted how the Pharisees made the error of believing that Jesus was in league with demons. They attributed Jesus’ exorcisms to the work of Beelzebul, the prince of darkness. But Jesus made it plain to them that he was not partners with darkness, ever or under any circumstances (Matthew 12:22-32). Their misunderstanding of Jesus’ relationship to the kingdom of darkness was severe enough to be identified as blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Jesus doesn’t hold hands with evil, even though he is sovereign over it and is fully free to use it for his own good purposes.
Satan Permitted to Torture Job
In the book of Job, we find a compelling and beautifully written example of how this works. There, we are privy to an actual conversation between God and the prince of darkness himself:
Job 1:6-12 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. (ESV)
For people unfamiliar with this text, it can be quite shocking to read. The good Creator openly gave permission to the vicious accuser to create utter havoc, allowing him to literally rip Job’s family, finances, and health apart. Let that sink in! God allowed the devil to kill Job’s children, destroy his possessions, and disintegrate his health, so long as he did not kill Job himself.
For a variety of people in the modern world, this is just unacceptable. Many today have a view of God in which he would never, ever allow the devil to bring this kind of destruction, especially into the life of one of his own followers. Many can’t fathom how God and the devil could actually come to an agreement like this, one that brings dark and high-level torture into someone’s life. How could a loving God ever say, “Yes, I will allow you to kill his children”?
Of course, it is very important to study the entire book of Job, and not this one passage in isolation. As the story unfolds, we can clearly see that God allowed Satan a measure of destructive freedom only because he had his own sovereign purposes in mind. We especially see this in the final chapters of the book (38-41), where God confronts Job about the situation in tornadic fashion. Like a machine gun, the Lord interrogated him with question after question. These questions, all rhetorical, functioned mainly to demonstrate the sovereignty of God to Job. Essentially, he informs Job that he is God, and Job is not.
Job 38:4-11 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?” (ESV)
Each of the questions God asks Job are designed to show him that God is sovereign and has certain rights as the eternal Creator. He has the right to do things that will make no sense to mere humans. And he has the right to allow things to happen that are evil and dark without explaining to us why.
As God, he has plans and purposes for every moment of human history, including severe suffering and torture. All of his plans are designed to bring about his own awesome glory in a maximized way. In carrying out his sovereign plans, God will often even allow the devil, demons, and evil people to have a measure of destructive freedom in the world.
But again, when God does give dark forces this freedom, he never cooperates with them as a team in the process. In Job’s account, it is clear that God and the devil are not striking a deal like old chums, or even mutual parties. God does not compromise with the serpent, nor is he making a friendly wager with him concerning how Job will respond. God is intent on crushing the devil and bringing about his eternal punishment, not on being his pal.
When the book of Job is placed into its canonical and christological context, this becomes clear. Yes, God agreed to give the devil permission to torture Job, but only because the torture of Job would be part of God’s redemptive plan to ultimately crush the head of the serpent forever.
To put it another way, God’s plan involved Job’s suffering as a way of bringing about a greater good. The devil’s plan was to destroy Job’s soul, but God’s plan was to enhance and sanctify Job’s soul. In his sovereign power, God can and often does use his enemies’ own evil actions to bring about his own wonderful results, and he does so without ever himself being guilty of authoring sin or approving of it.
Did a Good God Raise up an Evil Pharaoh?
One stark and powerful example of God’s sovereign freedom even over things that are evil and wicked can be found in the Exodus story. Pharaoh was the villain, holding Israel captive as slaves, and then refusing to let them go at God’s command through Moses. But just after the sixth plague, when boils covered the skin of the people, Moses returns to Pharaoh and has a revealing conversation about what was actually happening. God, speaking through Moses, says this:
Exodus 9:15-16 For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. (ESV)
I hope you read that slowly and with comprehension. Pharaoh was an evil man, engaged in acts of torture and darkness. God “could have” squashed him and “cut him off from the earth,” but he did not. Rather, God “raised” Pharaoh “up.” There it is. God’s sovereign freedom and power even over evil and wicked people and actions.
Notice that God’s purpose in permitting Pharaoh to torture people wasn’t trivial or arbitrary. Rather, he did it in order “to show you my power” and “so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” Thus God loosened Pharaoh’s leash, giving him some horribly destructive freedom, even the freedom to mercilessly kill hundreds of newborn baby boys (Exodus 1:16). God allowed these wicked atrocities, because in allowing them, he was eternally demonstrating two things that he values supremely, his own power and his own glory. For God, the infinite value of displaying his power and glory was somehow worth the suffering and loss brought about by the evil acts of Pharaoh.
God Permits the Ultimate Evil in order to Bring About the Ultimate Good
This is a pattern we see multiple times throughout Scripture. However, the pattern was never more visible than it was when evil people brutally drove nails into the hands and feet of the Son of God.
At Calvary, God gave the devil permission to torture Jesus in the most heinous way. The devil was given freedom to rip his flesh open and to cause his blood to spill by the gallon. He was even permitted (unlike with Job) to take Jesus’ life, using wicked people to kill the very Son of God.
However, the wicked actions of the devil and his dark kingdom actually worked against him. Instead of obtaining a victory in the battle, the devil unwittingly brought about his own ruin. God’s sovereign plan prevailed, and Jesus Christ was raised from the dead in power, now having obtained the legal requirements necessary to save guilty sinners. Peter directly states this point in his Acts 2 sermon:
Acts 2:22-24 Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (ESV)
Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.” To be delivered up means that he was turned over to the devil. He was allowed by a sovereign God to be tortured and killed, but for much greater redemptive purposes – purposes that can never be thwarted.
This was the same lesson Job learned through his ordeal. At the conclusion of his trials, he declared “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).
So, yes, God can give the devil permission to torture people without himself being guilty of wrongdoing. He has done it in the past, and he can do it whenever it pleases him today. But in so doing, God is not teaming up with the devil. He is not befriending him or working with him. He never does, and he never will. Rather, when God gives Satan a measure of destructive freedom, permitting him at times to wreak utter havoc, he does it because he is using the devil’s wicked acts as the very means of crushing the devil’s head.
This is exactly what we see happening in Mark 5. Jesus permits Legion to enter the swine, not as friends or teammates, but because he intended to bring good out of the destruction he knew Legion would cause. But what was the good he had in mind in allowing the pigs to drown?
Going after the Economy
The response of the people to the death of the swine is clear. They wanted Jesus to leave and not come back. Why were these people so full of fear and anger, and why did they ask Jesus to leave? No doubt they feared his power, but it seems the bigger issue to them was their damaged economy.
The sheer size of the herd reveals that pig farming was a major industry in the area at that time. The swine farmers did well for themselves, and they in turn used their profits to help maintain other sectors of the market by hiring workers and paying them wages. The farmers also spent their earnings on other goods and services, helping keep the local economic wheels spinning. So when two thousand pigs were all killed in a single moment, the entire economy of the area took a major blow. Everyone would have felt the impact of this event where it really hurts – in their wallets.
We might get some idea of that impact by imagining one of the major auto manufacturers in the United States being completely shut down. Suppose one day the headlines read, “Ford Motor Company Closing All Plants and Dealerships.” This would cause a major and devastating ripple in the US economy from top to bottom. Tens of thousands would lose their jobs. And those people would not have the income they were accustomed to receiving, which means they would not be shopping as often for food, clothing, and other goods. This means it wouldn’t be the auto industry alone feeling the impact of the closure, but every other sector of the market would feel it as well. This is the fearful phenomenon economists call a recession, and when really bad, a depression.
So we must understand that it wasn’t merely one swine farmer whose possessions and livelihood were damaged by the drowning pigs (though he would have felt it most of all), but the entire region would have been dramatically affected by this event on an economic level.
Jesus knew this was going to happen. He knew when he cast Legion into the pigs that the pigs would die and the economy would be rocked as a result. It is difficult to study this passage and not come to the conclusion that he, indeed, wanted this to happen. Remember, Jesus could have simply sent the demons away, skipping the pigs altogether, but he did not. Rather, he gave demons permission to strike a damaging blow to the economic status of an entire city and region. He permitted them to enter the swine, knowing what the results would be. So why would he do it?
Going After Our Idols
One of the themes rehearsed throughout Scripture is that human beings, in their sinful and rebellious state, are constantly creating idols. “Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols,” said John Calvin. People are constantly attempting to manufacture things they believe will bring them a sense of safety, security, and glory.
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Timothy Keller answers the question, “What is an idol?”
“It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give. . . An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, ‘If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.’ There are many ways to describe that kind of relationship to something, but perhaps the best one is worship.”
The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) was an example of early idolatry on a mass scale. Those people had replaced God with their own ingenuity. Rather than worshiping their Creator, they pridefully bowed down to the god of human glory and the god of safety-in-numbers. The city and tower they constructed were designed to give them a name and protect them.
Genesis 11:4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” (ESV)
But they sought glory and safety by trusting in objects of their own creation rather than seeking God’s glory and depending upon him for security. This is the essence of idolatry – attempting to replace God and what only he can give with something else. So God stopped them in their tracks by blocking their ability to transfer information. He confused their languages (v7), revealing their folly and demonstrating to them the utter weakness of their gods. Their tower, city, economy, and pride were all shattered that day. But God did it anyway. Just keep in mind, he did it in order to eventually bring them back to himself, where they could know true safety, true security, and true joy.
Another example from the ministry of Jesus took place in the Temple area in Jerusalem. He shook up that local economy with great forcefulness when he grabbed the tables of the money-changers and flipped them onto the ground. He wreaked havoc when he took a cord and drove the animals out. Those animals were to be sold as sacrifices for a high level of profit. As customers scattered, every vendor present that day took a serious economic hit. Jesus personally wrecked their business because they were making an idol of money and profits:
Luke 19:45-46 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” (ESV)
In the book of Revelation, we read of the final fall and destruction of Babylon. In the context, Babylon is a symbolic name for “the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth” (17:18). In the future, this great “city” (the world of dark profits and the love of money) will be completely destroyed, as the angel declares with a mighty voice:
Revelation 18:2-3 “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast. . . The merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.” (ESV)
That last statement in particular exposes the idolatry of money for what it is – an attempt to find safety, security, and glory in human power, human resources, and human ingenuity.
It is true, human beings worship their money and the things that money can provide. Because of this, people also have a tendency to worry about money issues more than just about anything else in their lives. This worship and worry over finances is one of the greatest obstacles standing in the way of a right relationship with God. Jesus directly taught this fact:
Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (ESV)
The apostle Paul adds his wisdom:
1 Timothy 6:9-10 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (ESV)
The people who lived in the region of the Gerasenes depended on swine farming to provide them a sense of identity, safety, and glory. The money made from this industry allowed them to live more comfortably and with more security than they otherwise could have. Instead of being concerned about a right relationship with God, they spent their days padding their pockets with extra cash.
It goes without saying that modern people are guilty of the same sin. Skipping church for work in our day is considered perfectly acceptable and understandable. Forgoing the public worship of the one true God in order to earn a few extra bucks is thought of as normal and obvious. Modern Americans have subconsciously bought into the lie that the making of money is the most important thing we can do.
I don’t mean to offend those who must work on Sundays out of social necessity. Police officers, workers in the medical community, and others fall into this category. I am challenging those who do not have to work, but choose to anyway. And they choose this mainly to make more money, which in their minds is of greater value than attending a public worship service where God is corporately honored and praised.
Jesus agreed with the demons that they should enter the swine, and in so doing, he permitted them to pound a violent blow on the local economy. Strikingly, he allowed dark beings to remove money from people’s pockets. His plan, at least partially, was to undermine the idolatrous dependence of the people on their economy and show them they had a greater need. They needed to be forgiven of their sin and made right with God. Money just can’t buy that. We should never trust an economy to provide us salvation or soul satisfaction.
Christ will often do whatever is necessary to wake us up to what our souls really need. He is capable and has enough authority to allow all that we depend upon to be snatched away from us in a moment’s time. When this happens, we suddenly come to realize our desperate and lost spiritual condition.
Asking Jesus to Leave
It is not surprising that when the townspeople arrived on the scene, and analyzed what had taken place, they asked Jesus to leave. In their view, his actions were cruel and led to a local recession. He had taken away some of their creature comforts. It is sad, but seems clear, that they would rather have had their local economy intact than to celebrate the fact that a man had been released from spiritual darkness and bondage by the Son of the living God, who was paying them a visit. Their money was more important to them than the man’s soul, or their own. They were blinded by their emotions, and they could not see that Jesus was bringing his glorious kingdom into the world and into their community. They could not see that citizenship in his kingdom provides real safety, security, and glory.
As many are today, the townspeople were oblivious to the reality that when Jesus is Lord of an economy – that is, when he sets it into place and his values drive it – it actually works for the good of all, putting money in its proper place as a tool of love rather than a god to worship.
For example, consider God’s command to celebrate the Year of Jubilee as described in Leviticus 25:8-17. Every fifty years, all debts were to be forgiven and all slaves released. No merely human economy would ever see the value in such an action. But when the standards of God and the grace of God are the driving forces of an economy, all the people thrive and enjoy freedom.
Consider also what Paul instructed Timothy to tell those in his congregation who had amassed wealth:
1 Timothy 6:17-19 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. (ESV)
The people living in the land of the Gerasenes couldn’t see the value in any of that. Very often, we today don’t see it either. Those people simply wanted Jesus to leave. What about you?
Would You Ask Jesus to Leave or Stay?
What if you were there that day, and your economic status depended upon the local swine farmers – would you have asked Jesus to leave or stay?
It is admittedly difficult for modern folks to put themselves into the shoes of those people. So let’s think of a modern world example to help us feel the weight of this.
Suppose you are the founder of a screen printing, graphic design, and monogram company. You have spent years building an online presence, compiling a giant client base, and growing your company into a strong competitor in the industry. After two decades of labor, you have 40 employees, a nice two-story building with offices, and a large work area where the shirts and other items are printed or monogrammed, boxed, and shipped.
In addition, your company has been financially successful. You pay all of your employees well, and they love you for that! As the owner, you earn a handsome annual salary that affords you the opportunity to own an extremely nice home in a prestigious neighborhood.
Further suppose that, at this point in your career, you are able to take several lengthy vacations all over the world each year. You drive a luxury automobile and own several other vehicles, boats, and the like for recreational purposes. And you have a retirement nest egg that would make most people envious.
But there is a problem. Across the street from your company sits an unwelcome mental hospital. Next to the hospital (you might have guessed this was coming), there is a large pig farm. Follow me on this. You have often heard of a permanent resident at the mental hospital named Octavius, who is notoriously insane. In previous years, he had brought havoc into the lives of many, and his family eventually had to have him committed.
Octavius is kept in isolation from the other residents because he often attacks them brutally when he has the opportunity. Additionally, he must be kept in a padded room under suicide watch, since he is constantly attempting to cut and harm himself.
Let’s further suppose that one day, Jesus of Nazareth shows up at the mental hospital. When he walks through the door, Octavius begins screaming his name from within his padded room. Jesus obtains permission to speak with the deranged and tortured man. Upon entering the padded room, Octavius falls before him and screams, “What business do you have coming here, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?! Are you here to torture me before the time?” Jesus asks his name, and the reply is “Legion, for we are many.”
Like the man in the biblical story, Octavius is possessed with demons. Jesus commands the demons to come out of Octavius, but they beg him to send them into the swine living on the farm next door. You probably know where this hypothetical story is going by now.
Jesus gives the demons permission to enter the swine. When they do, the pigs become enraged, and the entire herd forcefully busts through the farm fence, gallop across the road, and enter your office building. All of your employees quickly vacate, running in fear for their lives.
The pigs trample and destroy all of your screen printing machines, computers, and other equipment. They are so aggressive their bodies forcefully and repetitively strike the support beams holding up the second story of the building. Eventually the entire building collapses, destroying everything inside, and killing all the pigs in the process.
All that you have worked for through many years of struggle comes crashing down as you watch helplessly from the street outside. While you stare gaping and wide-eyed at the mountain of mess before you, there is a sound behind you. The electric doors of the mental hospital buzz open and out walks Jesus and Octavius. Octavius has a smile on his face, a sane look in his eye, and is speaking with Jesus. For the first time in many years, he is able to see and think clearly. He is healed.
Jesus then steps out onto the street where you and all of your dazed employees have congregated. Your workers are amazed as they suspiciously observe Octavius, the man with such a notorious reputation. Jesus then looks you directly in the eye.
What would you do? What would you say?
Would your anger and sadness about your company’s destruction overshadow any joy you might have for Octavius? Would your eyes be able to see the power of God at work right in front of you, or would your anger blind you? Would you ask Jesus to stay in the neighborhood and continue helping alleviate the spiritual darkness, or would you angrily and fearfully call the police to take him away?
Putting the story into the modern world in this way helps us see what the townspeople were really feeling. However, you likely don’t own a successful company. Well, what if it was your house that was destroyed by the pigs? Suppose they ruined all of your possessions – furniture, clothing, photographs, electronics, appliances, and everything else. Would you ask Jesus to stay or leave?
What if the pigs were able to get to your retirement account, or your jewelry, or your car, or your health, or the health of your children? Would you ask Jesus to stay or leave?
The story can be applied with equal force to those in ministry. Imagine you are the pastor of a growing church, and your congregation has just finished a multimillion-dollar building after months of fundraising and labor. But just before the first service in the new sanctuary, a herd of demon-possessed pigs comes stomping in and bring it all down to dust. Would you ask Jesus to stay or leave?
When a person is put into a situation in which Jesus permits dark forces to take something that is of great value to him, that person’s true spiritual condition quickly comes to light. The loss will reveal whether the person’s heart is addicted to idols, or whether a relationship to Jesus Christ is most important.
Jesus Brings Something Better
The swine farmers and the townsfolk did not realize that if Jesus stayed and continued his work of healing and preaching, their lives would be dramatically better than they ever had been before. They couldn’t see this fact because their eyes had an earthly focus. They couldn’t imagine that Jesus of Nazareth was capable of bringing his glorious kingdom into their lives, adopting them as children, and filling them with light, truth, and love. They weren’t able to envision the realities expressed in Revelation 21 and 22 of a city of gold, a river of life, a place where all tears are wiped away, and a place where people never die. They couldn’t see any of this because they were blinded by their idols. No wonder the apostle John instructs us this way: “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).
Can you see past your money, possessions, and health to the greater and better reality of a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ? If you can, there will be three features that appear in your life – holiness, sanity, and a missions mindset. In the final chapter, we will explore these three features of the authentic Christian life.
This post is Chapter 11 of the book Drowning Swine.
Read Drowning Swine Online
Click the chapter links to read now
- Jesus the Missionary
- Here Be Demons (and Pigs)
- Darkness Is Dark
- Among the Tombs Crying Out
- Darkness Kills Itself
- Who’s the Boss?
- Team Affiliation
- Naming Your Demons
- Fighting Fire with Consuming Fire
- Why God Made Pigs
- The Idolatry of Economy
- Holiness, Sanity, and Missions
Appendix: Synoptic Harmony