3. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
A sower went forth to sow. In Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8 a parable is told about the reception of the Gospel.
The painting shows a farmer throws seed on a pasture. To the left are thorny bushes that will overgrow the grain. Next to it are rocks where the grain may grow fast but where it will not persist. To the right, down the hill, the seed has fallen in good soil.
Across the river a group has gathered to listen to the preachings of Jesus.
Bruegel made this panel after a journey to Italy. On his way back to the Low Countries he travelled through the Alps. The mountain landscape inspired him for the background of this painting. He signed it bottom right with BRUEGHEL.