Love Letters: Studies through the letters of the Apostle John: 1 John 1:1-2:2
Louis Pasture “Man of Cures”
If one were to choose among the greatest benefactors of humanity, Louis pasture (1822-1895) would certainly rank at the top. The French chemist devoted his life to solving practical problems of industry, agriculture and medicine. His discoveries have saved countless lives and created new technologies from which the world has profited. Among his discoveries are the pasteurization process and ways of preventing silk worm diseases, anthrax, chicken Cholera and rabies. His contributions developed the first vaccines. Pasture was a scientific genius whose discoveries have extended all of our lives through disease prevention.
Louis Pasture had five children, three which died very young. Two of his children died of Typhoid Fever and another of a tumor. These personal tragedies led to pasture’s drive to save people from such illnesses. Although pasture could not save his own three children, he was able to save a nine year old boy. Joseph Meister had been bitten by a rabid dog. Pasture was urged by the boy’s mother to treat him with his controversial new rabies vaccine method. Ten days later, after multiple injections, the boy recovered and remained healthy. Doctors and scientist of his day ridiculed Mr. Pasture and labeled him a “mad scientist”; however, today he is considered a hero of modern medicine.
- What if Mr. Pasture had kept his cures to himself for fear of public opinion?
Man’s Most Deadly Disease 1 John 1:1-7, James 1:15
Regardless of mankind’s “public opinion” on the issue of the world’s most deadly disease, only sin’s mortality rate is at 100%. Biblically speaking, the last days will introduce new strands of diseases that will wipe out populations (Luke 21:10-11, Revelation 6:8) Even now there are rapidly appearing and highly-resistant strains of diseases that Mr. Pasture had once been on the cutting edge of wiping out. Since his discoveries, most diseases have become treatable with the ever-growing arsenal of antibiotic compounds, or with vaccines which had been ingeniously contrived to prevent or cure them with great efficiency, but time is changing things. The medical world sites three main reasons for the revival of ancient diseases and the birth of new ones in the world today: they are 1) expanding population, 2) the increase in world travel and 3) the excessive or incorrect use of drugs which has encouraged bacteria to mutate and gain resistance. The Bible cites a greater reason…that is the increase of sin. (Matt 24:12, James 1:15)
Where Mr. Pasture discovered cures to so many diseases, the Apostle John clearly stated the cure for sin (through Jesus Christ)! At the beginning of his letter her states: “That which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim…” John’s testimony of Christ and his remedy for sin was not a hypothesis or a theory; it was fact-based on his own life-changing experiences with Jesus.
The Apostle John is the author of five New Testament books: the gospel of John, the three short epistles that also bear his name (1, 2, and 3 John) and Revelation. John was part of Jesus’ inner circle; and along with Peter and James, John was given the privilege of witnessing Jesus’ conversation with Moses and Elijah on the Mount of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9) His importance in the twelve grew as he matured, and after the crucifixion, he became a “pillar” in the Jerusalem church (Galatians 2:9), ministered with Peter (Acts 3:1, 4:13, 8:14) and finally was exiled to the Island of Patmos by the Romans where he received from God the majestic visions that comprise the book of Revelation. In his early days with Jesus, at times, John acted rashly, recklessly, impetuously and aggressively. (mark 9:38-41, Luke 9:51-54, Matthew 20:20-24) Yet in time, John would become the one who was entrusted by jesus to care for Mary in her old age (John 19:25-27) and to write the final letter to all churches for all time. Revelation 1;1-2 His Epistles (letters) are filled with expressions of love; both God’s amazing love for His children and how His children are to love others. In this opening passage John makes it clear: 1)that Jesus is life 2) that he (John ) has witnessed that truth, 3) that Jesus is truth light and 4) that only the blood of Christ is the remedy for sin and all are sick.
Sin Sick 1 John 1:8-2:2, Romans 6:23, 5:19-21
It is ludicrous for one bitten by a rabid animal to say, “I am not in need of a vaccine.” It is equally as insane for anyone to say that he or she is without sin and needs no cure. Sin is also incurable and its result is death. Romans 5:19-21. Only the blood of Jesus is the purifying agent of a cure. 1 John 1:7
Gnosticism: One of the most influential forms of false teaching that prevailed in John’s time was Gnosticism. The word comes from the Green “gnosis” meaning knowledge. Many false teachers claimed to have secret knowledge which could enlighten a man and free his soul from physical bondage. Sin was taught to be a figment of one’s imagination. Denying sin was to be without it and therefore to engage in it without penalty. Does this same form of thought prevail in our modern society today? You bet it does!
Pass It On
Like Mr. Pasture we must pass on the cure so that others can be healed. Like john we must proclaim the truth of sin and the remedy in Christ so that others may be saved. How can we watch them die when we have the cure? That which you have heard, seen with your eyes and touched…proclaim it—the cure!