John 14:23 reads, "If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him to make our home with him. (NIV version reads 'him' 'them', but I chose 'him' over 'them', for 'him' refers each individual soul whereas 'them' is a 'collective' term. Remember that God is like a man with ten fingers, so that when a finger hurts, he does all he could do to secure a relief for that finger.)
"Anyone" - anyone refers to anyone, both Jews and Gentiles, young and old, man and woman, regardless of ethnicity or nationality or religion.
"Me" - Jesus Christ who chose to go to the cross to offer himself as a ransom sacrifice to provide men with the relief from the pain of separation from the Father.
"my teaching" - the Bible (or the Word) John 1:1-4. The heart of his teaching is 'love' that is 'loving the Father with all of one's heart, soul, mind, and body', and loving one's neighbor as he loves himself. Loving Jesus and obeying his teaching are not two separate propositions, for the whole point of the Bible is Jesus Christ, the embodiment, the definition, and the meaning of love.
"My Father" - the God who sent Jesus Christ to this world, as John states, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." 3:16
"we" - We refers to Jesus Christ and His Father who sent Him.
"[we will] come to him" - Come refers to Jesus leaving the Father's bosom, coming to this world by being being born of the Spirit, in a manger. Then when he became about 30 years in human age, he began his public ministry, to look for the lost. After offering himself as the ransom sacrifice on a tree, he rose again and through the Spirit he comes back to find himself at home with the one who loves him and obeys his teaching. The word 'come' then denotes the whole process of Him coming to look for the one who would open his heart and accept him as the Lord and Savior.
"make" - home is made, not given. Make denotes efforts involved. Jesus says in John 3:20 that he stands at the door knocking, patiently waiting for the man inside to open the door, to let him in, so He could come in have a fellowship with him, eating and drinking with him, not temporarily as a guest but as a permanent resident. Do you let him in only as a guest? Or a permanent resident? In fact what he wants is a permanent relationship such as in a marriage relationship. No wonder that he calls the members of the church his "bride". No wonder that the new Jerusalem which comes down out of 'heaven' from God is described as the one 'prepared' as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. Jesus is the husband you are the bride. How many efforts then are put into preparing for the wedding? Building a home sweet home is one thing, maintaining it to continue to be a home sweet home is quite another. This requires constant efforts to be made. A husband or a wife can treat his or her spouse as a guest or as a nobody, making the spouse unwelcome.
"our" - This home is going to be not just your/my home but the home of Jesus Christ and the Father who sent him.
"home" - this home has different names in the Bible such as 'temple', 'tent', 'tabernacle', 'kingdom', or ''church'. It is a dwelling place, for God created man in His image, so God who is Spirit could dwell in a man's heart, making Himself at home in the heart of his child.
Question: "What makes Jesus (and His Father) feel 'unwelcome' or 'welcome' within you?
Answer: "If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching" tells us that it is love that makes the spouse (or anyone) feel welcome or unwelcome, just as it is said, "The coldest place in the entire universe is the heart where there is no love" or "If it is not for love why live"?
** A friend of mine was not willing to even open the door to let me in: One day a friend of mine who is serving children ministry asked me to serve on one Sunday a message on John 14. The night before the Sunday, not knowing what to preach, before going to bed, I knelt down on my bed, and prayed, "Lord, please let me know what you want me to say." Then that night I had a dream. I went to a large metropolitan city. There on a steep hill along side a narrow alley were small houses lined up on both sides. I felt lonely and cold growing intensely homesick. Then I met a friend of mine looking out of the window of the house. He used to live in New York. But I did not know when he moved there. I waved to him, and he to me. I asked him about his son who is yet to be married, but he said something, which I could hardly hear. Having been a long time friend of mine, I expected him to open the door, let me in, and at least have a short conversation on a couch or something. But he would not! I looked intently at his face. It was as hard as a stone. Apparently the city life made him weary and burdened. I did not bother. And I passed by, feeling sorry. Then I woke up. And as I prayed and meditated on John 14:23, it occurred to me that I was no different than the man inside the window, for I used to treat Jesus just like the man. The message?: yes, technically you know Jesus and even call him Lord, Lord. You also believe in Jesus, but you still keep Jesus standing outside.
** The Saturday right before the Sunday I was supposed to serve a message for the children, out of blue, around 9:00 a.m. my wife said in a louse voice, "Grand Daughters are visiting us!" At that time I lined up the yard works to do in my backyard, which I planned to finish before the sunset by any means! I was overjoyed at the news, but at the same time felt conflict because of the work to be done. In no time, they came. I went in, gave them a big hug. Then quickly came out to the backyard doing the yard work. Soon I realized that I was not doing what is right. I made them feel 'unwelcome'. So I dropped everything. I made a plan to take them out to a park, and spend time with them doing fun stuff like bike ride! The message?: Yes, technically you let Jesus come into your heart, but how do you treat him? Like a guest? If a guest, with love or with a hidden sense of burden or even loss? Like a wife? If so with love or with indifference? While seated around the eating table, a husband may start burying his eyes in the newspaper. If so, how would your wife feel? Jesus says, "If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching." In John, the way to express one's love is to feed sheep, for he said to Peter three times, "Do you truly love me more than these?" On receiving 'yes', Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." So how are you doing in feeding sheep?