About the piece: I created this by starting with a photo I found. It's actually a prototype for a painting. But I ran out of time to paint it. The painting would have been large, 1 metre x 1 metre.
After the hectic days of Jesus’ death and resurrection, some of the younger disciples decided to go fishing. There were seven boys present, all of them teenagers: Peter, James, John, Thomas, Nathanael, Lazarus, and one other. As they fished, they talked about everything that had happened. They stayed out all night but didn’t catch a single fish.
As the sun came up, their boat approached land, and a man on shore called out to them, “Children, have any food?”
Peter, one of the older youth, yelled back a flat, “No.” Peter hated not catching fish. He had hoped a night on the water would have calmed his soul. But he was left with only an empty stomach.
This fishing all night without catching fish reminded him of another time fishing, three years before. That was the first day Peter met Jesus. Peter had been washing his nets near his boat. On that day, Jesus climbed into Peter’s boat and asked if he could push off a little from shore. From there, Jesus taught a large crowd of people. After he was done teaching, Jesus asked Peter if they could go fishing.
Peter told him it was a bad day for fishing. He told Jesus that he and his friends had fished all night and caught nothing. But because he respected this teacher, Peter put the boat out into deeper water. As soon as they let down the net, fish started swimming into it. There were so many fish, Peter had to call to his friends on shore for help. It took a second boat to bring all the fish to land.
It was the first miracle Peter had ever seen. It was the reason he gave up fishing. That time he left all those fish jumping around in his boat. He just walked away from it all, to follow this man Jesus.
But now, Jesus was not with Peter. This time, there would be no miracle. He had never felt more abandoned. And now some stranger is asking him for food? The stranger spoke again, this time giving fishing advice, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.”
Peter nearly yelled back at the stranger, some not very nice words. But just to prove the man wrong, Peter let the net down on the right side of his boat. Suddenly the nets caught, and soon there were so many fish they feared the net would tear.
And suddenly Peter understood. His skin shivered. It was Jesus on shore. Teaching him one more time, the way his patient but firm teacher had always taught him. He couldn’t wait for the boat to land. He jumped into the water and swam towards Jesus. The rest of the boys pulled the boat in and counted the fish… 153 fish in all.
But Jesus had already created a fire and had some other fish cooking. He had even brought some bread. He had thought of everything. As they ate they talked, about lots of things. Peter was about to ask something important, but then he saw Lazarus walking up behind Jesus.
Lazarus had always annoyed Peter. Lazarus thought he was pretty special. He was always saying, “I am the one he raised from the dead.” And saying things like how much Jesus loved him and all. As if he had been the one to walk on water!
Peter asked Jesus, “What about him?” Because many people said Lazarus might live forever, since he had already died. Lazarus was almost as famous as Jesus.
But Jesus knew Peter’s question was out of jealousy. So he responded, “If I want him to remain until I come back, what is that to you? Your job is to follow me.”
And there the conversation ended. The boys ate fish and chased each other around. And it was as if time had stood still. A perfect end to an amazing story.
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