“I was in Heaven … I sat on Jesus’ lap.”

There’s more to the “Colton Burpo Picture of Jesus” story

If you’re looking for more information about the Colton Burpo Picture of Jesus, here you will discover little-known facts about this inspirational story. After surviving an emergency appendectomy, 4-year-old Colton Burpo told his parents: “I was in heaven.”

This little boy’s astounding story of visiting heaven – and meeting Jesus – has riveted people around the world. The Heaven is for Real book is a #1 New York Times bestseller. It has been translated into about 40 languages. And it was the basis for the movie, also titled Heaven is for Real.

Here, at Art & SoulWorks, we are particularly inspired by Colton Burpo’s story.  Here’s why …

First, the book Heaven is for Real almost didn’t get written…

Todd Burpo never planned to turn Colton’s story into a book, and he never imagined it would be made into a film. In fact, the Heaven is for Real book was published in 2010, seven years after Colton’s heavenly experience.

Todd Burpo was quoted as saying, “We never wanted to write it. It was not something that we pursued …  God brought people to us to keep prompting us to be willing to do it,” Todd said. “I never saw myself as a writer. I had a garage door business, I coached wrestling, I was a fireman, I’m still the state chaplain … I’ve got plenty of stuff to do.” But Todd and Sonja Burpo say they were called by God to tell Colton’s story. 

Heaven is for Real book series


Second, Colton Burpo identified Akiane’s “Prince of Peace” picture of Jesus as the Real Face of Jesus.


Fascinated by his experience and description of Jesus, Todd Burpo showed Colton hundreds of pictures of Jesus over the years. Colton was a matter-of-fact sort of kid and responded with short comments: No, the eyes are the wrong color. The hair’s not right. And so forth.

But in December 2006, Colton and his father Todd Burpo (author of the Heaven is for Real book) were watching CNN’s news story on Akiane Kramarik, the child prodigy who painted her visions of heaven, including mesmerizing images of Jesus. The news story highlighted Akiane’s “Prince of Peace” painting, completed when she was only 8 years old. Upon seeing “Prince of Peace,” Colton declared: “Dad, that one’s right.”

In that moment, Colton Burpo recognized the Real Face of Jesus … as he saw him in heaven!

“Prince of Peace,” painted by Akiane at age 8, is often referred to as the “Colton Burpo picture of Jesus,” as seen in the Heaven is for Real book and movie. Many have come to believe that “Prince of Peace,” – Akiane’s painting – is the Real Face of Jesus!


Here are a few of Colton Burpo’s quotes about his astounding trip to heaven and back:

  • “Jesus told me his cousin baptized him.”
  • “John the Baptist was really nice.”
  • “I was in heaven.”
  • “Jesus has brown hair and hair on his face … His eyes are so pretty … His clothes were white.”
  • “Jesus is the only one in heaven who had purple on” and wore a “gold thing on his head.”
  • “Everyone looks like angels.”
  • “Dad, Jesus was answering your prayer.”
  • “Jesus said he wanted daddy to become a pastor.”
  • “Jesus was really happy.”
  • “God really really loves us.”
  • “Jesus is right next to God.”
  • “Jesus really, really loves the children.”
  • “Jesus died on the cross so we could go see his Dad.”
  • “I get to go back to heaven.”

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