The Account of Jesus’ Birth as Presented in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke
The Account of Jesus’ Birth as Presented in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke
Written By Calvin Lindstrom   |   12.24.21
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Like nearly every other aspect of Scripture, the birth of Jesus, the Messiah, has been questioned by theologians and supposed scholars. One famous scholar, Raymond Brown, states that Luke’s information is dubious on almost every score.[1] This means that God was not able to communicate the basic historical facts regarding the birth of the Son of God. Is this how we want to start the story of Jesus – as if we are just trying to make things up, like a Joe Biden press conference? We certainly can have confidence in God’s Word even when we cannot line everything up with “secular” histories or the opinions of men.

In the first part of the 20th century, when there was a great assault against the Christian faith, the Lord, by His grace, raised up J. Gresham Machen as a very thoughtful defender of God’s truth.

In 1930, Machen’s book, The Virgin Birth of Christ, was published. It is considered one of the most thorough and scholarly treatments of the subject. You can read the book free HERE.

Both Luke and Matthew record the birth of Jesus in a different but harmonious way. Looking at the details, we can see that Luke and Matthew alternate in presenting the full story of our Messiah’s coming.

Based on Machen’s excellent thought, here is a compilation of the full birth story as given by Matthew and Luke.[2]

Read through this account with your family as we celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior!

    1. Annunciation to Zacharias – Luke 1:5-24
    2. Annunciation to Mary – Luke 1:26-38
    3. Visit of Mary to Elizabeth – Luke 1:39-55
    4. Return of Mary to Nazareth – Luke 1:56
    5. Discovery of her condition – Matthew 1:18-19
    6. Annunciation to Joseph – Matthew 1:20-23
    7. Marriage of Joseph and Mary – Matthew 1:24-25
    8. Journey to Bethlehem because of the census – Luke 2:1-5
    9. Birth of Jesus – Luke 2:6-7
    10. Visit of the Shepherds – Luke 2:8-20
    11. Circumcision at Bethlehem at 8 days – Luke 2:21
    12. Presentation in the temple at 40 days – Luke 2:22-38
    13. 13 Return to Bethlehem – Not explicitly stated
    14. Visit of the magi – Matthew 2:1-12
    15. Flight to Egypt – Matthew 2:13-18
    16. Return to Nazareth – Matthew 2:19-23 and Luke 2:39-40

[1] Raymond Brown, The Birth of the Messiah, 413.

[2] Compiled by P. Calvin Lindstrom following the analysis of J. Gresham Machen, The Virgin Birth of Christ, 197. Scripture quotations from the NKJV.

Calvin Lindstrom
Pastor Calvin Lindstrom has served as the pastor of the Church of Christian Liberty in Arlington Heights since 2006 and has worked in Christian education for over 23 years. He is blessed to be a husband and father of six children. He is also a long time board member for Illinois Family Action....
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