"He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep..." (Luke 6:48-49)

"He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete." (Luke 6:48-49)
This parable or analogy by Jesus is tied to his previous statement:
"I will show you what He is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice." (Luke 6:47)

What is Jesus telling his students?

As pointed out with this previous statement, Jesus is telling his students that he will be introducing his students to the Supreme Being through his teachings, and by following those teachings, they will have the opportunity to re-establish their own personal relationships with God.

The one slight mistranslation here is with the translation of the Greek word λόγος (logos) to "words." A better translation of the word, as referenced from the lexicon, would be to "teachings." This slight mistranslation is also made in the current verse (6:49) as well.

Thus the correct phrase within this verse would be:

"But the one who hears my teachings and does not put them into practice is like..."

Now in this statement, Jesus is comparing a person who follows his teachings to a person who doesn't.

What does the symbolism mean?

The "house" symbolizes a person's life, and "building" that "house" symbolizes one's evolution -spiritual growth - or the lack thereof.

The "foundation" is pretty self-explanatory. It is the foundation for one's life and the direction or path in life. This would include our goals, our desires, principles, what we accept as truth, and the lifestyle we lead.

The "torrent" being described by Jesus symbolizes the challenges and the demands of the physical world and these physical bodies. The fact that such a "torrent" "struck that house" assumes that this is a significant challenge.

And there are so many significant challenges that exist within the physical realm. Before we can understand these, we must first understand our true identity.

You see, we are not these physical bodies. They are temporary vehicles each of us occupies. Each of us is an individual made up of another essence: a spiritual essence. It can be compared to a person driving a car. The car - physical body - moves only when a driver sits down inside it and drives it away.

Our identity and true home exist within the spiritual realm. Even when we are here occupying a physical body, the primary element of our spiritual self is still residing within the spirit world. This could be compared to the 2009 movie called "Surrogates."  In this movie, people were residing in their apartments while they were virtually walking around in the form of their surrogates.

Just as the physical universe has many planets and universes, so does the spiritual realm. God resides personally within part of the spiritual realm. In other parts, there are schools and learning facilities, where spirit-persons train to be able to connect with the Supreme Being. This physical world is such a training facility. 

As a person advances in this training, one becomes able to personally enjoy contact with the Supreme Being.

Doesn't love require freedom?

But because love also requires freedom, each of us has the freedom to love God or not. Those who chose not to love God were exported out of the spiritual realm and into the physical world. This is each of us.

The physical world is that place where we can exercise our desires to be free from God and our relationship with Him. God created this to give us the freedom we desired, and this is accomplished by our occupying and identifying with these temporary physical forms.

God programmed this dimension and these forms to give us the illusion that we are these bodies, even though they are clearly temporary. A child who identifies herself as a little girl will one day be in an old woman's body.

This illusion was programmed by the Supreme Being to allow us the maximum amount of freedom - but virtually - because in fact we are each intimately connected to God. He is our Creator, our Best Friend, and our Constant Companion. God is, in fact, that Soul Mate we perpetually seek in the physical world but can never seem to find, or hold on to should we think we have found them.

Is the world a rehabilitation center?

For this reason, God also programmed this virtual physical world as a rehabilitation center - with a myriad of challenges and lessons that serve to teach us that we really do need Him. This is because He knows we will only be truly happy when we return to our eternal loving relationship with Him.

For those who begin to realize this and are on the pathway back to our relationship with Him - namely those who follow Jesus' teachings - they are on a solid foundation because they can persevere all the various challenges and lessons of the physical world. Their desire to return to their relationship with God provides them with a solid foundation.

For those who do not follow Jesus' teachings - they will be subjected to the various sufferings of the physical world with no solution in sight. Because they refuse to accept the existence of the Supreme Being, they have blocked their pathway back home - back to happiness. They are forced - by their own choice - to live out their lives within the illusion that they are these temporary physical bodies and their temporary identities.

Now we can consider the many "torrents" of the physical world. Consider all the hatred and strife of the world, as everyone is focused upon their own happiness - often at the expense of others.

Consider all the pains, diseases, old age and the various problems in between as we struggle to keep these temporary bodies alive.

Just consider falling in love (or lust) with someone who does not care for us and ends up hurting us.

Just consider all of those we have cared for who have died and left us behind.

Just consider the ultimate "torrent" of the death of this physical body. At the time of death, we must leave everyone and everything we are attached to behind. This includes our family, friends, money, success - everything. It all gets blown away all at once. This is symbolized by Jesus' statement:

What about the torrent?

"The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."
The torrent symbolizes the various tests of this world that we are met with. Those who have the foundation of Jesus' teachings will be able to respond to those tests. Such a person will understand that we are each spiritual in essence and that we can only truly rely on God and not the things or people of this world. Such a person will understand that we can only be happy when we love and serve God. Such a person will essentially be able to weather the tests of this world by putting their lives upon a solid "rock" foundation.

Those who put their lives on this foundation can weather through the challenges of the world and the time of death, because we put ourselves in God's Hands. We do not expect that we will be strong enough by ourselves to weather the storms of life. We rely on God's strength. As Jesus describes it:

And the flood?

"When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built."
Being "well built" means relying upon the Supreme Being. It means giving up the idea that we are strong by ourselves, and that we can handle things by ourselves. God is our Best Friend and Constant Companion. Those who rely upon Him can weather the storms of this world along with the time of death because the Supreme Being will take care of us. All we have to do is reach out to Him and learn to love Him.

Jesus is communicating that teachings provide that "rock foundation." What was his "first and greatest" teaching?

"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)