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I feel more comfortable when I can see the extent of my obligations. That brings light to the lesson of Peter in Matthew 18.

Peter was concerned about how many times he should forgive his neighbor. Peter knew what the rabbis had to say on the topic. They had read the hook of Amos.

They had concluded that the Lord forgives three times, and the fourth time He lets sinners have it. Well, rabbinic logic suggested that you cannot be more generous than God. Therefore, they concluded, three times should be the limit of human forgiveness.

Now Peter had recognized that Jesus was not a minimalist. So he doubled the rabbinic three forgivenesses and added one for good measure, coming to the conclusion that seven forgivenesses would be quite generous.

And that is a lot of forgiveness, if you start thinking about it. If I backed into your car seven times in the next seven days in the church parking lot, you would think that seven is probably about six times too many.

But Christ bowled poor Peter over. He said, "Peter, Peter, not seven but 490." Try that sometime. By the time you get to 490, you’ll not have a car. You will also have lost count.

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