Was Jesus an idealist or a realist?

There is a major difference between an idealist and realist. An idealist visualizes what an ideal world would be like and then takes steps accordingly towards that ideal world, while a realist views the world as it really is, and takes steps to change it. Based on this definition, Jesus the perfect man was a realist.

God created our world perfect (Genesis 1:31). He made perfect humans with the freedom of choice (Joshua 24:15). Unfortunately, mankind chose to believe the devil (Genesis 3:6) and thus allowed him to demonstrate his rule in our world. The result of our sinful choices is the suffering and death we see in our world today (Romans 6:23).

But the Lord, in His infinite mercy, took upon Himself the burden of saving humanity from sin and its penalty. Jesus the innocent died to set us free from the devil and restore God’s perfect image in man. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The love and justice of God were fully demonstrated and fulfilled at the cross.

An idealist sees God as only loving, and not also just. They see human nature as good. The idealist believes that everyone will be saved eventually. But the Bible teaches that although God is loving (1 John 4:8), He is also just (Psalms 9:7-9). God’s Holy laws are pure (Romans 7:12). A realist, on the other hand, sees man’s sinful state and the need for the Savior to cleanse from sin. God through Jesus’ death made every provision that sinners may be made whole again (Romans 8:1-39). Everyone that comes to Jesus can be transformed by faith and receive victory over sin (2 Corinthians 2:14).

Jesus was both a perfect man and a realist. As a realist, Jesus taught people perfect morals to live in a sinful world. He said, ‘Love your enemies,’ forsake retribution, grant forgiveness, don’t condemn, and display compassion (Luke 6:27-37). And He added, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Jesus taught us to love God with all the heart mind and strength and our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27).

But Jesus knew that we on our own are completely unable to do what He asked us to do (John 15:5). So, the good Lord provided all the grace necessary to make His commands a reality (1 Corinthians 15:57). Through Christ’s enabling power, everyone can have victory over sin (Philippians 4:13).  All what we need to do is to connect ourselves to the Lord through daily study of His Word and prayer to receive His enabling grace (John 15:4,7).

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In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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