However, these accounts are speaking of two different episodes in time.
First Things First
Despite the fact that Matthew appears first in the New Testament, the first chapter of Luke describes events that happen prior to those described in the first chapter of Matthew.
Luke 1 lays out a visitation from the angel to the virgin Mary before she is pregnant. She is identified as being espoused to Joseph, and therefore attached to him. She is his woman, and he is her man.
Matthew 1 lays out a visitation from the angel to Joseph, the husband of Mary, after Mary is already pregnant.
Given these circumstances, I think it is necessary to consider these two accounts in chronological order.
A Matter of Faith
Although the Virgin Birth debate tends to hone in on Mary’s visitation, I believe the first chapter of Luke is telling a greater story than just the announcement concerning the conception and birth of the Messiah.
This announcement is preceded by the announcement concerning the conception and birth of John the Baptist, and the fruition of that birth, therefore I believe the author is seeking to convey the point that God is a keeper of His promises.
The question is, Do we believe the word of the Lord: will He do all that He said He would do? Initially Zechariah didn’t believe it, but Mary did.
But what exactly did Mary believe?
Was Mary hailed for believing she would conceive a child out of wedlock, or was it that she would bring forth the Messiah through natural means? Have you studied it out for yourself?
I’ve put together a Bible Study Guide entitled “The Birth of Jesus Christ” to assist in studying this subject for yourself.
Also, I’m hosting a remote Bible Study class on Thursday nights in the months of May and June in 2017 for the purpose of learning and sharing our studies on this particular matter together in a round-table discussion format.
I can tell you what I believe, but I prefer that you study it for yourself first, and then we can compare notes.
Get a copy of the The Birth of Jesus Christ Bible Study Guide (available soon!).