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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Portrait 4: A New Beginning

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3

In our portrait today, Jesus and Peter are walking beside the Sea of Galilee. John is following several yards behind. The morning is crystal clear, and far in the distance you see the disciples’ boat on the shore. Spilling over the side of the boat is a net overflowing with large fish--a catch that would make any fisherman proud. Yet, the net is unattended and seemingly unimportant.

Around a campfire near the boat sit many of Jesus’ disciples. They are talking amongst themselves, yet their gaze is fixed upon Jesus. This is the third time Jesus has appeared to the disciples after His resurrection from the dead, but they will never cease to be amazed. He who was dead is alive and among them!

The disciples do not question that this is Jesus who was crucified. His hands and feet bear the marks of man. The disciples’ minds have been opened to understand this is He of whom the prophet Isaiah wrote, He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him; and by His wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).

Jesus and Peter are deep in conversation. The tilt of Jesus’ head signifies He has asked Peter a question. Do you love Me? (John 21:17). The look on Peter’s face displays hurt, yet at the same time great love and devotion.

For the first time you notice in the far distance a rooster walking away. A rooster…a campfire…a question. Was Peter thinking of the night he denied Jesus? Then you suddenly notice a smile on the lips of Jesus. He knows the answer to His question before Peter speaks. Peter does love Jesus wholeheartedly. Peter has been restored, and he will serve Jesus faithfully.

I am Peter in this portrait. At times I have denied Jesus by my silence, my words or my actions. However, today I express wholeheartedly my love and devotion to my Lord. What about you?

I praise You, Jesus, as the risen Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sin and bringing me healing.

Jan Burkhart

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