47–48. Jesus speaks now of the man who takes notice of what he says. This man is like a builder who dug deep, and laid the foundation upon rock. This is essential for sound building, but it is time-consuming and it is hard work. So some avoid it. But when the storms and floods come, a house built on rock will stand. The hard work is worth it. The parallel in the spiritual life is clear. When the final test comes at judgment day it is the foundation on which our lives are built that matters (cf. 1 Cor. 3:11f.). The words certainly have an application to the storms of this life. The person with a good foundation is not easily upset by life’s difficulties; but it is the supreme final test that is specially in mind.
49. It is different with the house built on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against the house built this way, immediately it fell. It could not withstand the onslaught. So is the man who hears the teaching of Jesus but does not act on it. He is building his life without a foundation. He may have every outward appearance of respectability and he may be noted for his religious observances, but lacking a foundation he is nothing.