On this day in history – July 6, 1885 – Louis Pasteur successfully tested his vaccine against rabies on Joseph Meister, a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.

The notion of a weak form of disease causing immunity to the virulent version was not new; this had been known for a long time for smallpox. Inoculation with smallpox was known to result in far less scarring, and greatly reduced mortality.

Pasteur took medicine to a whole new level, however. He tested his vaccine on rabbits, then dogs. Then, after young Joseph was mauled by the dog, Pasteur gave him the vaccine, a risky move given that he didn’t have a medical license.

But the boy recovered and Louis Pasteur was hailed as a hero. The treatment’s success laid the foundation for the manufacture of many other vaccines.

Louis Pasteur had the only vaccine for rabies. That is an illustration for life. Only Jesus Christ has a vaccine for sin. But as the boy did with Mr. Pasteur, we must trust the Great Physician.

Only then can we be healed.

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