Sermon Notes 6.23.2019

6-23-19               Sermon Notes                  “When Pigs Fly”

When pigs fly…  Have you ever wondered where that saying came from?  I looked it up, and apparently it is a centuries-old Scottish proverb – something used to indicate the unlikeliness of something happening.  It is sometimes used to mock a person.  For instance – I might say, “I might start my new diet tomorrow.”  And my wife might say, “Yes, and pigs might fly.”
Of course we all know that pigs can fly.  Haven’t you heard of the “swine flu?”  Just kidding.  “When pigs fly” is actually an example of an adynaton – a figure of speech that uses inflated comparison to such an extent as to suggest complete impossibility.  It’s like when Jesus said,

 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." (Matt. 19: 24  NIV)

When pigs fly…  But you never know.  In 1909, a pioneer aviator named Baron Brabazon took a piglet aloft in his private biplane.  The piglet was strapped into a wastebasket, and the wastebasket had a sign on it that read, “I am the first pig to fly.”  With all due respect to the piglet, he is not the first.  Maybe the first ones to fly were from Luke 8: 26-39…

26 Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he fell down before him and shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me”— 29 for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.) 30 Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. 31 They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss.
32 Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding; and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
34 When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told them how the one who had been possessed by demons had been healed. 37 Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them; for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.
(Luke 8: 26-39  NRSV)

Can’t you just picture those demon-filled pigs flying off the bank into the lake?  It was highly unlikely that that would happen.  Of course, it was also highly unlikely that Jesus would cross the lake to a Gentile region and meet with a naked demoniac who lived in a graveyard.  Unlikely…  Surprising… This Sunday we are going to talk about how Jesus often does the most unlikely things in the most unlikely places with the most unlikely people.

See you Sunday,
Pastor Sam

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