43”You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

13You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. 14You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.

In a previous blog I introduced Gerhard Lohfink’s suggestion that wholeness is the key to the Sermon and in another I gave his arguments for this claim. But what about the arguments for Matt 5:48 being about wholeness? Does “perfect” (teleios) mean “wholeness”?

Undivided loyalty to God also entails… undividedness towards the neighbor.

In a series of blogs I will offer some (random) thoughts on the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7) focusing on what I perceive to be its most basic theme: undivided faithfulness.