Is the Buddha pragmatic, for the healing of the mind, for equanimity amidst all conditions of life, etc? Yes...but he is much more, as well. Here are two paragraphs from one of those earlier suttas, the Ariyapariyesana Sutta:
"Then, monks, being subject myself to birth, seeing the drawbacks of birth, seeking the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke, Unbinding, I reached the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding. Being subject myself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeing the drawbacks of aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeking the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, unexcelled rest from the yoke, Unbinding, I reached the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding. Knowledge & vision arose in me: 'Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.'
"Then the thought occurred to me, 'This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise.  But this generation delights in attachment, is excited by attachment, enjoys attachment. For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality & dependent co-arising are hard to see. This state, too, is hard to see: the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding. And if I were to teach the Dhamma and others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.'
A question I have for those who would argue that the Buddha was only
concerned with freedom within the scope of this one lifetime,
and not with regard to a Samsaric wheel that one is personally bound to and will reappear in unless awakened, would be to explain the part bolded above. To be pleased about having made an end to becoming and birth, implies that generally, one is
subject to future becoming and birth. Otherwise there would be no point to making the declaration, "This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming." If it were just
about ease in this lifetime only, he could have just rejoiced in the ending of dukkha in the here and now. But there appears to be more to it than just
that, does there not?