By Jason Owens
It seems appropriate at this time of year to focus on this word – prosopon. In America many people just finished putting all kinds of costumes on for Halloween and it will not be long before we are celebrating Christmas. What better time could we talk about prosopon!?
Okay, I won’t keep you guessing. Prosopon is the Greek word that originally meant “face” and was eventually used in ancient Greece as the word for “masks” when referring to theatre. The connection from “face” to “mask” is straight forward. Our face is where people see our emotional state and first get to know who we are as persons. Thus, this word prosopon was a natural fit for the name of a “mask” in theatre.
Are you seeing the connection? No, not the obvious connection to Halloween, where we put on masks to be someone else. Look deeper at the events on our doorstep – Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are approaching the time of year where we will declare thanks to God for all His provision, His presence and His power in our lives, then moving to a celebration of Jesus coming – when God put on a face. A face that was nurtured by Mary as she watched Jesus grow from the Word who spoke no words to the Word who spoke to the sea and it calmed. A face which cried at the death of his friend Lazarus. A face which was spit on and slapped during the Passion Week. The only face which conquered death and is now in heaven, physically, waiting on his bride.
John 1:14a says “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”
Jesus, the living Word of God, put on a literal face for us. Our job is not to put on a mask and cover who we really are, but actually allow the Holy Spirit to help us look like the face of Jesus in all we do.
Interestingly, prosopon is where the word “person” derives from in English and, the first real usage of prosopon in this way is – Jesus.
If you really want to be a person in the truest sense, put on the fullness of Christ. Thank God this season for His coming to dwell in us that we might image him, and pray that when people see you during the holidays they will see the face of Christ.
Prosopon / πρόσωπον
By Jason Owens