Everybody needed a little clarification about the relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus, even John himself. Though Jesus gave yet another riddled answer to John's inquiries, it seems to have brought up a topic Jesus had wanted to talk about.
When the people hear Jesus's glowing words for John, confirming he came to prepare the way for the Messiah, they seem to be very relieved. "They declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John" (7:29). They had accepted the message of John and now are accepting the message of Jesus, but did not quite know if that was ok, as if to say, "Are these two guys in agreement or have we accidentally switched sides."
It is much like the situation with the Dong. They do not quite know who is with who, which message is right, or whose message is more important. "Do I listen to this foreigner or that Chinese guy?" "Are they preaching the same message?" It is all a little weird to them, really.
It is far outside their realm of understanding. They cannot tell the difference even between malicious cults and true believers, much less knowing whether to listen to this foreigner or that Chinese guy. Even more confusing would be hearing two foreigners. Is it ok to listen to both? The Dong just do not know.
Jesus went a long way to relieve the people's fears when he spoke so highly of John. Now, instead of wondering if they needed to forget what John said and listen instead to what Jesus said, they can be assured that John was just the first step, and Jesus's message is a completion.
Let us pray that the Dong will understand the truth when they hear it, whether from one person or many people. Pray also that the Lord will expose the false teachings of the cults active in the Dong areas. And most of all, pray that the Dong people will cling to the scriptures as the definitive word of God, through the Jesus Film, Bible story recordings, written scripture portions, and the Chinese Bible when they can understand it.