Jesus speaks on His Meta-Verse: Restricted to the Meta-noied

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg (1984 – ), the founder of Facebook (re-named Meta), has been one of the handfuls of 21st century tech entrepreneurs whose achievements have been so profound that they have not only changed the way all people live today compared to just 20 years ago but are even changing our understanding of reality.

As a Jew, whose great-grandparents immigrated to the USA from Germany, Austria, and Poland, Zuckerberg’s efforts continue a long-term Jewish contribution to mankind that can be traced all the way back to Moses; to chart a pathway improving society and the relations between its members. This emphasis on improving society is captured by ‘social’ in ‘social media’, commonly used to describe Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

Zuckerberg’s products do not simply allow for a one-way information flow from select content creators to the mass of content consumers. Thus, they are not traditional ‘media’ like television, newspapers, and movies. Zuckerberg’s IT platforms enable a society where its members develop and share information with other members. Thus Facebook enables a complex and ever-changing network of social relationships. You know this because you experience it.

Problems in the Meta-Verse

Despite Zuckerberg’s vision of harnessing IT, his achievements have laid bare a barrier noted two thousand years ago. Another tremendously influential Jew focused on a mission to transform society, and laid his finger on it back then. You have also encountered this fundamental flaw in your social media experiences. As the technical prowess of social media grows you will experience it more and more.

The Social Quest

Moses birthed social laws about 1500 BCE

To understand what this means for you it helps to go back 3500 years ago to Moses. He transformed the Jews from an extended tribe descended from Abraham, into a nation governed by laws. About to conclude his brilliant career, Moses offered the following reasons why God, through him, had created these laws.

See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? 

Deuteronomy 4: 5-8

Moses gave the Law to transform Israelite society into one of wisdom and understanding, characterized by righteousness. Then the surrounding peoples, who lived in ‘might-makes-right’ societies would take note and enter in.

But it did not work out that way. Instead of being a ‘light to the nations’, their society corrupted. So its social reformers, the Jewish prophets of the Old Testament, pronounced long-term destruction of that society. That nation would lie dormant until its Law-Giver would see fit to raise it again. That long-running social experiment revealed a deep problem.

The Insurmountable Social Obstacle

Jesus, the insightful social analyst of his day, pointed out the root problem like this.

But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” 

Matthew 15: 18-20

Jesus assessed that the roots of social problems come from flaws within her citizens, not primarily from inadequate social laws or protocols.  Of course, unbalanced social protocols can magnify the problems.  But fundamentally, we the citizens, have hearts that naturally tend to bring forth evil thoughts. We propagate these out into society, whether by hand and mouth, as in Jesus’ day, or through a keyboard, scanner, touchscreen, voice recorder, or ‘share’ button today.

Facebook in the News

Consider the general trend that Facebook’s news cycle has generated. After its mid-2000s launch, we heard a steady stream of positive news about the new social media platform. Its new technology dazzled us. World dignitaries sought out Zuckerberg, the whiz-kid entrepreneur, and listened to him on the global stage. 

But the tenor of the news started to change in the mid-2010s. When Cambridge Analytica took the social information of millions for advertising purposes without their consent, that was an important turning point. Questions continue to surface about lies and misinformation spread on Facebook, often by powerful interest groups. The constant drip-drip of cyberbullying, pornography, and revenge publishing of intimate photos also came out. People witnessed depression, despair, and suicide. Questions remain about how Facebook’s algorithms target children, and what role Facebook played in the January 2021 storming of the US Capitol. Former insiders now claim that Facebook undermines democracy.

Logo for Meta

With this backdrop, Zuckerberg announced in October 2021, that he was renaming Facebook to Meta since the overall aim of his IT company was now not simply social media but creating virtual realities where people could enter into and participate as avatars. In short, Meta is creating a new world, a Meta-Verse. This new world will operate under programmed rules. So, for example, if my avatar throws a ‘ball’ to your avatar in Meta, its trajectory in the virtual world would mimic that in our physical world because programming laws would be created controlling its trajectory (always subject to change for wild experiences). The vision is for all to be able to talk, live, work, and socialize in Meta. 

Change the Meta World…

Despite the immense technical skills and huge investments made into the Meta world (and the meta-verses that other IT companies are creating), the problem that Jesus put his finger on 2000 years ago remains. Even in beta testing, Meta reports the ‘creepy behavior’ exhibited by some avatars towards another avatar ‘citizens’. Meta is placing rules limiting behavior in the Meta-verse. Likened as ‘sexual abuse’ by some, it re-focuses on that age-old problem. How to control behavior so that citizens treat each other respectfully and without exploitation?

Or change the Citizens

Jesus also focused on birthing a new world which he called the ‘Kingdom of God’. He assessed that this problem was so serious that it could not be solved by a simple re-boot of the Meta world. Nor would making some rules, either as rigorous as those of Moses, or more light-handed as with Meta. Rather it would require a fundamental re-boot of the prospective citizens who would inhabit his world.  Without this fundamental re-boot, access to His world would be strictly denied.  Here is how he put it in a discourse with a leading teacher of Moses’ Law in his day.

Jesus and Nicodemus

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus and Nicodemus
Distant Shores Media/Sweet PublishingCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

16 For 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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

John 3: 1-21

Restrictions in all Alternate Worlds

The very fact that Facebook, Meta and all social media platforms face the problems that they do underscores the reality of this obstacle.  They make Jesus’ declaration to include only those ‘born again’ into his Kingdom deserve some reflection.  A perfect world inhabited by corrupt people will sooner or later crumble into the mess we experience today in our physical world.  Tech companies will attempt to solve this problem with better technology; governments with better institutions and education.  Jesus will do it with transformed people.  

A Meta-Verse or Meta-noia

Many assume that since ‘God loves me’ then I will certainly be welcome into whatever ‘Kingdom’ He might be creating. The move of IT giants to limit access to their platforms or Meta worlds to only those meeting their policies; the moves of governments around the world today to guard their borders; their limiting of visas and citizenship should put that assumption to rest. All societies, whether government, Meta-Verse, or Divine have standards by which they screen prospective citizens.

Zuckerberg chose the new name ‘Meta’ because it means ‘beyond’, or ‘change’. Jesus agreed on the necessity of change or Meta but he focused the required change on the individual rather than the platform. In Greek, ‘Metanoia’ means ‘change of mind’, often translated today by the word ‘repent’. Jesus’ co-worker, John the Baptist, built his entire career around this necessity of Metanoia. As they repeatedly said

John the Baptist, baptizing in the River Jordan
Nicolas Poussin, PD-US-expired, via Wikimedia Commons

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent (Meta – noia), for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Matthew 4:17

When the Meta virtual world is ready we will have the option to enter in.  Or we can remain outside in our current physical world.  Jesus predicted a future when our physical universe will wear out, with the only one remaining being the Meta one he is now developing – The Kingdom of God.  So, if our physical world terminates but we cannot enter His new world without a Meta (change) of our minds from his new birth then our options are limited. As he put it

I tell you, no! But unless you repent (Meta – noia), you too will all perish.

Luke 13:3

Delving deeper into his assessment

Of course, we may doubt his diagnosis of our condition. But his insights have had a way of standing up to the tests of time as many others have not. So it may be worth exploring his understanding of life. His dialogue with a woman about life, living water, and repentance against the backdrop of the Dead Sea provides a great entry point to do this.

The A-Z Avatar from Beyond our Universe

Sergey Brin, son of Jewish Russian immigrants to the US, and Larry Page, whose mother is Jewish, co-founded Google together in 1998. In 2015, Google reorganized, placing itself under its newly created parent company ‘Alphabet’. Alphabet has grown from a company valued at $23 Billion when it went public in 2004 to a value of $1.7 Trillion in early 2022. Alphabet has become so valuable because its search capabilities transformed our ability to access information from anywhere on the planet.

Origins of the Alphabet

That two secular Jewish data scientist pioneers should launch such world-changing information technology and call it ‘Alphabet’ is ironic when one considers where the alphabet came from.  Wikipedia tells us:

The history of the alphabet goes back to the consonantal writing system used for Semitic languages in the Levant in the 2nd millennium BCE. Most or nearly all alphabetic scripts used throughout the world today ultimately go back to this Semitic proto-alphabet.[1] Its first origins can be traced back to a Proto-Sinaitic script developed in Ancient Egypt to represent the language of Semitic-speaking workers and slaves in Egypt.


A Semitic people living as slaves in Ancient Egypt first developed the alphabet. That would be the Jews, freed by Moses’ leadership from Egyptian slavery. Delving deeper into the ‘Proto-Sinaitic’ script we learn that

… it is only with the Bronze Age collapse and the rise of new Semitic kingdoms in the Levant that Proto-Canaanite is clearly attested (Byblos inscriptions 10th–8th century BC, Khirbet Qeiyafa inscription c. 10th century BC)


The Alphabet: A Jewish Contribution to Mankind

In other words, the earliest ‘clearly attested’ alphabet-based writing came with the rise of Semitic (i.e., Jewish) Kingdoms in Canaan (i.e. Israel).  The Khirbet Qeyifra inscription is the oldest alphabet-based writing yet discovered. It was discovered in an ancient Israelite city that dates to the time and kingdom of David.  So let’s summarize what we know. The earliest alphabet was developed from Semitic slaves in Egypt (Moses leading Israelites out of Egyptian slavery). The earliest discovered script comes from an Israelite city in the time of King David. 

Khirbet Qeyifra Ostracon (writing on clay) from the time of King David of Ancient Israel. The earliest clearly attested alphabet writing

If not the outright developers, the ancient Israelites were most certainly central to the development of the first alphabet.  Their ‘paleo-Hebrew’ alphabet then spawned the Aramaic, Brahmic, Greek, Latin, Arabic and other modern alphabets used today around the world.  The letter names even today show the relationship.  The first letter of our alphabet ‘a’, matches the first letter of the ancient Greek alphabet Alpha – α. The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet aleph – א, and the first letter of the Cyrillic alphabet – ‘а’ also correspond.

The Jewish Contribution to the Alphabets of today and yesterday

So, the evidence indicates that the ancient Jews contributed to the advance of civilization by developing and then spreading the alphabet as a writing system. And today, through the leadership of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Jews have once again contributed to mankind through their IT company Alphabet.  As they note

We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search!

Google blog

We have been exploring Jesus in relation to his people of origin – the Jews.   But here we should pause to reflect on the vast contribution that Jews have made to mankind.  That civilization is founded upon the rule of law, with no one above the law, with society invested in the education of its citizens has come about, in part, because of the influence of Jews.  Now we learn that the simple, but profoundly powerful, alphabet is a gift from the Jewish people to the world.

The Transcendant Alphabet

But there remains still a third alphabet, also Jewish in origin, that has been offered to the world.  In our context of ‘alphabet’ note the following.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 1:8

God describes Himself as the ‘Alpha’ (first letter of Greek alphabet) and the ‘Omega’ (the last letter).  This is like saying, ‘I am the A to Z of everything, transcending knowledge, time and power’.  Later in the same book we find Jesus saying:

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Revelation 22:13

Jesus adopts the same term. He uses the alphabet as the platform to declare himself to be the same as the ‘Lord God’ who had earlier used that expression.

How to understand, let alone believe, this? 

Our Physical Reality seen from perspective of Virtual Reality

The rapid ascent of IT platforms offered by such companies as Alphabet and Meta provides a new insight to this question.  Information Technology has moved mankind to the cusp of creating virtual reality Meta-Verses, with parallels to our own physical reality.  Philosophers now raise questions about the mind and reality from these developments.  As the BBC explains:

Julia M Cameron, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

A simulation operated by super-powerful entities (IT companies) is, in many ways, equivalent to a Universe created by a divine being. And it begs similar questions – not least if you turn out to be one of the super-powerful entities in question. What kinds of risks and responsibilities accompany the god-like powers associated with operating simulated worlds?

… consider an inexperienced user of a virtual environment who doesn’t, for instance, know that the avatar they’re chatting to is being controlled by a corporate AI rather than a human. This is a scenario in which an informational asymmetry – the fact that the user is profoundly deceived about the nature of the interaction – may be connected to all kinds of manipulation or exploitation. Contrast this with an experienced user of a virtual environment who is hanging out with some avatars controlled by (human) friends as well as an AI-controlled avatar that’s telling them stories beside a virtual campfire. This is a very different prospect. What’s playing out here is a potentially life-enhancing encounter in an artificial realm – its pleasures derived from a knowing combination of verisimilitude and fictionality.

(The man rethinking the definition of reality – BBC Future)

The corporate AI, the ‘creator’ of their meta-verse can enter its virtual reality as an algorithm-powered avatar.  When it does so, there is a sense that the AI-avatar should declare itself to simple human avatars.  Not doing so would be unfair, according to ethicists and philosophers who ponder what encounters we can anticipate in the coming virtual reality meta-verses.

Jesus through the Virtual Reality Lens

Consider now the following discourse of Jesus from that lens.

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”

21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

Further Conflict Over Jesus’ Claims

22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

John 10: 1-39

Ethicists urge virtual reality creators to openly declare any of their avatars which come from them, the AI creators. In this light Jesus’ declarations as sent from the Father makes perfect sense. He took responsibility for full ‘informational symmetry’ with his hearers.

Jesus as the ‘Word’ of God

This is what the Gospel means when it introduces Jesus as the ‘Word of God’.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist
Daoud Corm, PD-US-expired, via Wikimedia Commons

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

John 1:1-18

Computer code is the foundational information source upon which the Big Tech companies build their virtual realities. In the same way, the Gospel presents Jesus as the information source which developed our physical reality.  Thus, it represents him as the ‘Word’ of God. Knowing the immense talent, skill and work needed to code the emerging IT virtual realities informs us of the A-to-Z complete know-how required to produce our physical reality.

The Transcendant Reality

But the Gospel does not stop simply by stating the source of our physical reality.  It describes another reality, more fundamental than this one.  As Jesus said:

Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.”

22 This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?”

23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”

25 “Who are you?” they asked.

“Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. 26 “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”

27 They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up[a] the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” 30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.

John 8:21-30

Jesus talks about another reality, another world, which we cannot access.  To understand why it is inaccessible to us we need to see some problems that Meta (formerly Facebook) is having in the development of its Meta-Verse.