The dating of this piece to 1595 indicates that Jan Brueghel was still on Rome when it was painted. It was in a Barberini collection by 1623 (Bedoni 61-63; sale catalogue Sotheby's) and could have originally been intended for a patron related to that family; or it may have been purchased by Maffeo Barberini in 1620s in Rome. The relevant inventory lists other works by Brueghel in the same room with this one.
This painting is also the earliest version of a composition he would later expand upon in several more New Testament scenes while back in Antwerp. Closely related to "Harbor with Preaching of Christ" (Ertz/Honig 33) although using a different narrative, as well as distantly related to the 1598 " Sea Harbor with Preaching of Christ".