The parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover (Luke 2:41). When Jesus was twelve years old, they went to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast (verse 42). When they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem, and his parents knew not of it (verse 43). They, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey and then sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances (verse 44). When they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem (verse 45). There they found him (verse 46).
There are some similarities between these events and certain events in history. First, the Lord's house, which is the church (1 Timothy 3:15), was established in, and the Word of the Lord went forth from (Isaiah 2:2-3), Jerusalem (Acts 2:1-47). In time, some departed from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1-4), just as Joseph and Mary departed from Jerusalem and in so doing departed from Jesus. Since the Word of the Lord is light (Psa. 119:105), those who left that light departed into darkness (1 John 1:6-7). This departure resulted in the corrupt Catholic religion which ruled and reigned during a period of history lasting approximately one thousand years and known as the dark ages.
Second, when men began to realize and recognize this departure from the faith, they began to seek the Lord, but they found Him not for they were now far removed from Him (Gal. 1:6-9). They sought Him and His Word among their kinsfolk and acquaintance, but He was not there because they were no longer abiding in His doctrine (2 John 9-11). During the period of history known as the Reformation, men like John Calvin came up with a five point system of religion known as Calvinism which was just as corrupt as Catholicism (2 Thess. 2:1-10). Man-made churches and man-made doctrines began to abound, and the corruptions continued with men adding to and taking away from the Word of God (Revelation 22:18-19). Instead of reformation being a solution to the problem, it added to and increased the problem and religious divisions were multiplied (1 Cor. 1:10-13).
Third, a group of restorers began to advocate that men go back to the Bible just as Mary and Joseph had gone back to Jerusalem. They advocated speaking when and where the Bible speaks and being silent when and where the Bible is silent (1 Pet. 4:11). They began to call Bible things by Bible names and do Bible things in Bible ways for they knew that whatsoever they did in word or deed was to be done in the name (by the authority) of the Lord Jesus Christ (Col. 3:17). They knew if they sowed the same seed, the Word of God (Luke 8:11), that the apostles and early Christians had sown in honest and good hearts (Luke 8:15), it would produce the same thing that was produced in the first century, New Testament Christians (Acts 11:26).
Mary and Joseph found Jesus by going back to Jerusalem. By going back to the Bible, we can find the Lord and the Lord's house. The Bible sets forth the five-step plan of salvation.
Second, God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). Those who do not repent will perish (Luke 13:3, 5).
Third, confession of faith (Acts 8:37) is made unto salvation (Rom. 10:9-10). If we want the Lord to confess us to the Father at the judgment, we must confess him before men here and now (Matt. 10:32-33).
Fourth, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:15-16). Baptism is a burial (Rom. 6:3-4) in water (Acts 8:36-38) for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) wherein sins are washed away (Acts 22:16) by the blood of Christ (Rev. 1:5). Baptism puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27) where salvation is located (2 Timothy 2:10). Baptism also puts one into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13) which is the church of Christ (Acts 2:41, 47; Rom. 16:16; Ephesians 1:22-23).
Fifth, the Christian (1 Pet. 4:16) must now remain steadfast and unmovable and always be abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58). The Christian must be faithful unto death, if necessary (Rev. 2:10). So long as children of God continue to walk in the light, the blood of Jesus will continue to keep them clean (1 John 1:7). And when Christians sin (1 John 1:8, 10), if they will confess their sins (1 John 1:9), repent (Acts 17:30), and pray for forgiveness, they will be healed (Jas. 5:16).