24 “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, but it did not collapse because its foundation had been laid on rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, and it collapsed—it was utterly destroyed!”
28 When Jesus finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed by his teaching, 29 because he taught them like one who had authority, not like their experts in the law.
He used to say: everything is given against a pledge, and a net is spread out over all the living; the store is open and the storekeeper allows credit, but the ledger is open and the hand writes, and whoever wishes to borrow may come and borrow; but the collectors go round regularly every day and exact dues from man, either with his consent or without his consent, and they have that on which they [can] rely [in their claims], seeing that the judgment is a righteous judgment, and everything is prepared for the banquet.
R. Elazar b. Azaryah says: If there is no Torah, there is no derech eretz. [(He does not get on well with people)]; if there is no derech eretz, there is no Torah. [(It will eventually be forgotten.)] If there is no wisdom, there is no fear; if there is no fear, there is no wisdom. If there is no understanding, [understanding one thing from another (but not giving a reason for it)], there is no knowledge [i.e., giving a reason for the thing]; if there is no knowledge, there is no understanding. [If he cannot give a reason for the thing, it is as if he does not know it; but, in any event, understanding comes first, wherefore "if there is no understanding, there is no knowledge."] If there is no flour, there is no Torah. [If one has nothing to eat, how can he study Torah?] If there is no Torah, there is no flour. [What will his flour avail him? Since he has no Torah, it would be better if he had no flour and died of hunger!] He was wont to say: One whose wisdom is more than his deeds — to what may he be compared? To a tree whose branches are many and its roots few. The wind comes and uproots it and turns it over on its face, as it is written: "And he [the man who trusts in men] will be like a tamarisk in the desert and he will not see when goodness comes. It dwells in parched lands in the wilderness, in a salty, uninhabited land." But one whose deeds are more than his wisdom — to what may he be compared? To a tree whose branches are few but whose roots are many. Even if all the winds in the world come and blow against it, they cannot move it from its place, as it is written: "He [the man who trusts in G-d] will be like a tree planted near water, which spreads out its roots along a brook and does not see when the heat comes, whose foliage is always fresh. It will not worry in a year of drought and will not stop producing fruit."