Why does it matter that Elisha saw it? Before Elijah was taken up from earth he asked Elisha what he could do for him before he was taken away (vs 9), and Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. The spirit of Elijah was not Elijah’s to give away, for it was the spirit of the Lord. Who could give such a thing in any portion (let alone, double portion) but the Lord Himself?
And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.
II Kings 2:12 NKJV
When reading the Scripture out loud with my family, occasionally one of my boys will say something to me like, “Daddy, you are hurting my ears.” This is not because they do not like the Scripture, in fact they often ask for more to be read. Rather, there are certain portions of Scripture I struggle to read at an appropriate volume. The passage builds up over many verses like a musical crescendo before reaching a climax at a triumphant declaration of the Lord’s power, glory, name, or work. John 8:31 – 59 is one of those passages. Jesus was interacting with the Pharisees around many points concerning Abraham when near the end of that interaction they ask Him, “Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead?” (8:53). Jesus responded, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad!”*